arrived I crossed in her, and tried to get the Estrella over, but she grounded. I cam up to the mouth of the river but saw nothing but the Hart, which we chased but could not catch. We got the Estrella and Saint Mary's over the next day, and the following day the Calhoun came up with the Diana.
The night of our arrival here we chased the rebel gunboat Cotton, but she got away from us by her superior speed. The same night we captured the rebel steamer A. B. Seger. She is a small boat, about the size of the Fancy Natchez, and is very useful.
Yesterday I went with all the gunboats up Bayou Teche, and found the enemy about 14 miles from here, posted above the obstructions they had sunk in the Teche. We engaged them for two hours and drove them off, as we also did the Cotton. The Kinsman bore the brunt of it, and received fifty-four shots in her upper works and hull and had 1 man killed, a soldier of the Twenty-first Indiana, and 5 wounded. The pilot, John Bellino, had his leg badly shattered and died to-day from the effects of amputation. Captain Cooke, in the Estrella, received three shots and had 2 soldiers of the Twenty-first Indiana killed whilst working the guns and 1 badly wounded. The Diana received three shots, but had no person hurt. She will have to be hauled out, as her stern is shot away. I received eight in the Calhoun, but fortunately they did no material damage.
Captain Wiggins fought his ship nobly. He was in such a position that he received all the fire from the artillery on shore and at the same time had the Cotton playing upon him; he, however, drove the artillery away and put several shots into the Cotton. The whole rebel force was there, numbering between 3,000 and 4,000 men, which seventy field pieces. We hear to-day we did them a great deal of damage and that the Cotton is sunk. They had thrown up a mud fort this side, but evacuated it on our arrival. We tried to remove the obstructions but could not succeed, but I think that when General Weitzel arrives, so as to protect us from the sharpshooters on the bank, we can do so. I keep running up and down all the time, so as to keep the river clear of the obstructions.
We can make all our repairs here, and I will have the Kinsman ready for service to-morrow. The Diana is getting timber out for Colonel Thomas to repair the bridge at Bayou Boeuf. The enemy destroyed about 1,000 hogsheads of sugar, a lot of molasses, and also burned 98 cars and 3 engines.
I send requisitions for ammunition for the three gunboats, which we want very badly, as we fired away a good deal yesterday, and I expect to have a good deal more firing to do, and also for some blouses and shoes for the men that have been shipped. It is absolutely necessary that they should have some clothing, and I hope you will order the quartermaster to furnish it. We have got all the steamers above us, but I am afraid they will burn them. The officers and men behaved splendidly. The Cotton is iron cased, and did some excellent shooting. She mounts one long 32-pounder, four 24-pounders, and two 6-pounder rifle guns.
The iron casing on the Kinsman and Diana turned the shot beautifully. Captain McLaflin, who was on board of the Calhoun with his company, went on shore with his men and tried to get opposite the Cotton, but before he got up to her she had left. If she has not been sunk we will get her yet. I shall send the coal schooner back, as we do not want her, there being plenty of coal here.