War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0161 Chapter XXVII. THE LA FOURCHE DISTRICT, LA.

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be in Brashear City. We have opened the railroad as far as the point marked "Boutte Station." The enemy have a force at the point where the Bayou des Allemands is crossed by the railroad.

I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

BENJ. F. BUTLER,

Major-General, Commanding.

Major-General HALLECK,

Commander-in-Chief U. S. Army.

HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,

New Orleans, La., November 2, 1862.

I have the honor to recount a very successful expedition, under General Weitzel, of the preparation for the march of which I have previously informed the commanding general:

General Weitzel landed at Donaldsonville and took up his line of march on Sunday, October 26. About 9 miles beyond Donaldsonville he met the enemy in force. A sharp engagement ensued, in which he lost 18 killed and 68 wounded.* Full lists of the casualties have been received and published. The commanding officer of the enemy, Colonel McPheeters, was killed, and the enemy lost quite a large number in killed and wounded. Two hundred and sixty-eight prisoners were captured, and also one piece of artillery. Since then he has met with no opposition, and the whole of that country is now open to him. The enemy has evacuated Brashear City, having by means of the railroad got away before our gunboats could cut off their retreat, the naval forces having been delayed by a very severe storm.

I send you General Weitzel's report, received to-day.+

Sending off so large a proportion of my effective force has necessarily left me very weak here, and I beg leave to urge upon the commanding general the necessity of re-enforcements, with which I can operate at Mobile and Texas, or up the river, which can be opened, or a march on Jackson, Miss., undertaken. I am organizing some companies of Texas Volunteers as cavalry, which I hope will grow into a regiment.

I will forward by the next mail by letter of instruction to General Weitzel in answer to his dispatches herewith sent.

I am just informed that our railroad communications with General Weitzel are opened, and his messenger has just come in, bringing a dispatch while I write, which I inclose.

I cannot too much commend the energy of Colonel Thomas, with his regiment, the Eighth Vermont, who have in six days opened 52 miles of railroad, built nine culverts, rebuilt a bridge (burned by the enemy) 435 feet long, besides pulling up the rank grass from the track, which entirely impeded the locomotive all the way. In this work they were assisted by Colonel Stafford's regiment, Native Guards, (colored).

I have the honor to be, your obedient servant,

BENJ. F. BULTER,

Major-General, Commanding.

Major General H. W. HALLECK,

Commander-in-Chief U. S. Army.

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*But see revised statement, p.172.

+That of October 29. See Report No. 2.

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