War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0194 W.FLA., S.FLA., S.MISS., LA., TEX., N.MEX. Chapter XXVII.

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from the enemy. Information received from citizens, contrabands, and especially from my own cavalry scouts, led me to expect an attack. Their force I estimated to be at least one regiment of infantry, two pieces of artillery, and about 500 cavalry. My information, gleaned from all the different sources, tallied as to their strength, and to their being immediately across the bayou at Indian Village, 9 miles from here. Their cavalry have been (at 8 o'clock last evening), see within 1 mile of the village of Plaquemine, some 150 strong, on Mr. Gay's and Stone's plantations.

At 1 o'clock this morning the enemy attacked my pickets from across the Bayou Plaquemine in considerable force, but with no effect. I replied, and they drew back into the woods. From the precision and unity of their volleys I judged them to be well-drilled troops and not guerrillas. At my request Captain Roe, of Gunboat No. 8, threw some eight or nine shells over the town into the woods where the enemy were posted, evidently scattering them, for we heard no more from that point during the night. From the falseness of a fuse one shell from the gunboat exploded over Company B, instantly killing Sergt. Joseph A. Baker, seriously wounding Private C. Mayer in shoulder and head, and slightly wounding Corpl. Edward Many in hand.

At 2 a.m. I sent cavalry scouts down Bayou Plaquemine, who returned by 3 o'clock and reported that they saw the enemy across the bayou all along, and that at 3 miles down he met their pickets, who chased them some miles.

At daybreak Gunboat No. 7 arrived from up the river, and remained off the town to co-operate with Captain Roe, of Gunboat No. 8. During the morning contrabands came in from Bayou Jacob, Bayou Grosse Tete, and Grand River, all of whom reported the enemy's force much larger than they have been heretofore.

DONALDSONVILLE, LA., January 4, 1863.

In the continuing of my report I would say that at 9 o'clock yesterday morning Lieutenant Perkins sent out a squad of cavalry, with orders to push to Indian Village, if possible. They returned at 4 p.m. with the report that they had gone within a mile of that place, and that the enemy were erecting a fort there and had a large force of infantry with artillery. Infantry 5,000 strong, two batteries of artillery, and a large force of cavalry, with General Sibley in command. The reports of Lieutenant Perkins I have implicitly relied upon, for he has been in this section of the country some time and knows it well. At 1 p.m. the river boat Morning Light came up the river, bound for Baton Rouge. I sent for re-enforcements to that place. After receiving the information of the force at Indian Village, and upon consultation with Lieutenant Perkins, of the cavalry, I decided it to be necessary, unless I was re-enforced strongly by 5 p.m., to evacuate the town, my men were in such an exhausted state, having been almost continually on the alert and not having had their accouterments off since entering the town. I immediately communicated my decision to Captain F. A. Roe, who said that the could take us aboard the two gunboats and either take us or down the river. I decided to go down to this place, and from there, unless ordered by Colonel Holcomb, return to Camp Parapet.

I was compelled to leave my rations, or rather the remainder of them, which amounted to about three and a half days for my 160 men. I would have had more remaining, but my surgeon considered it necessary to issue extra rations of coffee, &c., to the men on account of their exhausted state. I also gave some to Lieutenant Perkins' cavalry