War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0185 Chapter XXVII. BERWICK BAY, LA.

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NOVEMBER 5, 1862.

I have just returned from another trip up the Teche with the Estrella. I had 3 men killed by a shot. The Cotton was there. They had a battery on each bank, but we succeeded in driving them all off. I can do nothing until General Weitzel arrives. They are now strongly posted at the obstructions, and although I can drive them off, I cannot work at them. We want some more ammunition now badly. I think the Cotton is casemated, as our shell glanced off. We had him on fire once. We could plainly see our shot strike him, but he fights bows on.

I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

THIS. McKEAN BUCHANAN,

Lieutenant, Commanding.

Major General BENJAMIN F. BUTLER,

Headquarters Department of the Gulf.

No. 2. Report of Captain E. W. Fuller, commanding Confederate steamer Cotton.

DEPARTMENT OF STATE, C. S. A.,

Richmond, Va., December 3, 1862.

Hon. JAMES A. SEDDON,

Secretary of War:

SIR: I have the honor to transmit herewith a report of a recent naval action on the Bayou Teche, in Western Louisiana, in which Captain Fuller, with an artillery company on board of a small steamer, successfully repulsed four gunboats carrying twenty-seven guns, and thus secured control of that important stream.

The indorsement of General Taylor recommends the bestowal of some mark of favor on this gallant officer, and I hope it will be in your power to give him promotion as a reward for his service.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

J. P. BENJAMIN.

[Indorsement.]

DECEMBER 13, 1862.

If we were to give additional rank to our officers for gallant and distinguished services in affairs with the enemy we would interfere with the proper organization of the Army and incur a heavy additional expense. There is no law which provides brevets for gallant and distinguished conduct. All that could be done therefore in the present case in to write a complimentary letter to Captain Fuller, thanking him in the name of the Department for the services he had rendered, and when a vacancy occurs to which he could be appointed agreeably to law to promote him to fill it.

Respectfully submitted to the Secretary of War.

S. COOPER,

Adjutant and Inspector-General.

[Inclosure.]

GUNBOAT COTTON, November 7, 1862.

SIR: I embrace the first opportunity of making my report of the recent affairs between the Cotton, under my command, and the squadron of Federal gunboats that have occupied Berwick Bay.