rendered unfit for duty, so that Lieutenant Dana had for a time but one man. It would be invidious to speak of any of the party when all did so well. All acted with coolness and bravery. The engagement continued about an hour, and during the whole time every officer was active.
Tuesday Lieutenant Eaton was on the left bank with the Seventy-fifth New York, and he and I were in almost constant communication. Soon as he received any intelligence of the enemy he communicated it to me and I informed the general.
Wednesday Lieutenant Eaton and I went with a force under Colonel Birge to communicate with Colonel Thomas and returned Thursday. The party has been well tested, and I am fully satisfied with what it accomplished. If we do not receive an honorable mention from the general I shall think it great injustice.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
J. A. VANCE,
First Lieutenant 16th N. Y., and Actg. Sig. Off. in Charge of Party.
Lieutenant E. H. RUSSELL.
Lieutenant Eaton sent to Dana: "The acting assistant adjutant-general says send out infantry skirmishers." The engagement did not continue more than forty-five minutes.
No. 4. Report of Major General Richard Taylor, C. S. Army, commanding District of Western Louisiana.
HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT WESTERN LOUISIANA,
Bayou Teche, November 9, 1862.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit a copy of the report of Brigadier-General Mouton concerning the recent operations on the La Fourche which ave resulted in the falling back of the troops to the line of the Bayou Teche. I had availed myself of all the resources at my command, in men and guns, to protect the rich and populous territory lying between the Mississippi and Atchafalaya Rivers from the occupation of the enemy, and had hoped that the forces placed there were for the moment adequate to its protection, though it would appear from General Mounton's report that the necessity of guarding so many detached positions rendered an effectual concentration of the troops at any one point impracticable. As I stated to the department in the first report I had the honor to make after assuming command of the district, the defense of that section of it was rendered extremely difficult from the many lines of approach by which it could be penetrated-a difficulty which was greatly augmented by the withdrawal of a considerable portion of the forces menacing New Orleans on the eastern side of the river about the period of my arrival here.
It will be seen from General Mouton's report that the enemy effected his landing at Donaldsonville on Saturday, the 25th of October last. On the 19th of that month I had, at the urgent request of Lieutenant-General Pemberton, left Alexandria and proceeded to his headquarters at Jackson, Miss., for the purpose of having a conference with him. I arrived there on Friday, the 24th, and on Sunday, the 26th, came down