two shell into the town, but did no damage. Still here; no troops. Gunboat now rapidly shelling this place, 10 a.m.
H. C. WHITEMAN.
General RUGGLES, Port Hudson, La.
AUGUST 29, 1862.-Skirmish near Saint Charles Court-House, La.
Report of Col. Stephen Thomas, Eighth Vermont Infantry.
HDQRS. EIGHTH REGIMENT VERMONT VOLUNTEERS,
Algiers, La., September 3, 1862.
SIR: In accordance with your order I left camp by railroad on Thursday morning, August 28, with two companies of my command, Company A, Captain Grout, and Company C, Captain Foster, numbering about 50 men each, and a company of cavalry (70 men), under command of Lieutentant Perkins, Company B, Second Regiment Massachusetts Cavalry, and proceeded to Boutte Station, a distance of 24 miles, on the New Orleans, Opelousas and Great Western Railroad. From this point we marched to Saint Charles Court-House, where we arrived about 6 o'clock p.m. and encamped for the night. At 4 o'clock the next morning we were again under way. Reports soon began to reach us that there was a rebel force of from 300 to 500 men at Bonnet Carre Point, and when about 8 miles from the Court-House the advance guard of the cavalry came riding rapidly back, saying they had found the enemy. The balance of the cavalry, without waiting for orders, advanced at full speed, with the exception of Lieutentant Perkins and a few men of his company, who were in rear of the column. I immediately put the battery (it being two pieces of artillery attached to my regiment, in charge of Lieutentant Morse, Company I) infantry at double-quick and was soon on the ground, where a skirmish had commenced. Two prisoners were taken by the cavalry. One man was wounded by a canister-shot, dealt by Lieutentant Morse. I discovered the enemy in small force, out of rifle range, in the same field, and ordered a few shell to be thrown among them, which caused them to scatter and take to the swamps.
We then proceeded on about 2 miles farther, but finding nothing of the enemy we commenced a return, my object being to secure a large drove of cattle we had passed during the morning. On our march back we collected horses, cattle, sheep, and mules in large numbers, which will be properly reported through the quartermaster's department, and we returned to camp about 11 o'clock a.m. on Saturday, the 30th ultimo, having marched from time of starting the previous morning about 50 miles. The dust and heat during the day-time was excessive, but the men endured the fatigue without a murmur, and all returned in much better condition than could have been expected. Three prisoners were taken on the return, who, together with the 3 taken where the skirmish was had, have been sent to the custom-house.
Captain Mitchell, of the Thirteenth Regiment Connecticut Volunteers, accompanied the expedition, and rendered valuable service in aiding the moving forward and as an interpreter.
I have the honor to be, general, your obedient servant,
Colonel Eighth Regiment Vermont Volunteers.
H. W. BIRGE, Acting Brigadier-General.