1 mile of Napoleonville, where I bivouacked in line of battle. Believing that the enemy would, by means of the numerous flat-boat ferries which I knew were in the bayou, probably cross from one side of the bayou to the other, I took in tow a flat-boat bridge and carried it with me all the way, and have it with me now. I destroyed every boat I passed as a prudential military measure. It has proved of invaluable service to me. I moved on the first day with but one company of the Eighth New Hampshire on the right bank. the enemy's scouts were continually in sight of my advance guard of cavalry, and just before going into camp 1 captain of the enemy was killed by my advance guard and 3 prisoners were taken. Immediately afterward one of the Eighth New Hampshire privates on the right bank was taken prisoner by the enemy.
I started on Monday morning again at 6 o'clock, but feeling that the enemy was in some force on the right bank I threw over the whole of the Eighth New Hampshire and Perkins' cavalry by means of my floating bridge, and in this order moved down the bayou.
At 11 o'clock, when I was about 2 miles above Labadieville, I received the report that the enemy was in force about 1 mile ahead, on the left bank, and that they had six pieces of artillery. I immediately ordered four pieces of Carruth's battery up (two pieces were with the rear guard and Thompson's was already ahead), and formed the Thirteenth Connecticut and Seventy-fifth New York in line of battle to support Thompson.
These two regiments formed splendidly, and moved at once forward to the attack through a dense cane field. I moved on with them, and after emerging from the cane field I received the report, which was that the enemy was in position on the right bank also, and that he had four pieces of artillery on that side. At the same time I received the report that the enemy's cavalry was in the rear of my rear guard. I immediately swung my bridge across the bayou, ordering eight companies of the Twelfth Connecticut over to support the Eight New Hampshire, leaving two companies of this regiment, one section of Carruth's battery, and Williamson's cavalry to guard the rear. I immediately ordered also that a road be cut up the steep bank on both sides of the bayou for the passage of artillery and my train. I found soon that the enemy on the enemy on the left bank, after delivering only the fire of its advance guard, which killed one of my cavalry and wounded another and killed two horses, had disappeared for some unaccountable reason. Fearing some ruse, I immediately ordered the Thirteenth Connecticut across the bayou to support the Eighth New Hampshire and the Twelfth Connecticut; Thompson's battery to play upon the enemy's artillery, on the right bank, which was firing splendidly upon our forces and my bridge; ordered Carruth to cross over with his two advanced sections and the Seventy-fifth New York to support Thompson and guard the head of the bridge and the front of the train. I then crossed over, ordered the Eighth New Hampshire to form line of battle across the road, the Twelfth Connecticut to form on its right, and ordered these forward to attack at once. They had scarcely commenced moving when the Thirteenth Connecticut arrived on a double-quick from across the bayou. I immediately ordered this in reserve. Subsequently, as the center guides of the Eighth New Hampshire and the Twelfth Connecticut moved in different lines of direction, they became sufficiently separated to allow me to throw the Thirteenth Connecticut on the line between the two. I ordered this regiment forward in line of battle. The line thus formed advanced steadily at my command forward.