ing on the wharf, which we had barricaded on the inside. We had also barricaded the wharf in two places. At this building most of the enemy's shots were directed, and it was thee that most of our damage was receive. An attempt of the enemy to capture us at once time before daylight was successfully resisted by our men.
Soon after daylight we discovered four rebel gunboats and a ram making for our fleet. They succeeded in capturing the Harriet Lane. At 8 o'clock a.m. a flag of truce was raised by the enemy on the Harriet Lane and on shore. Flags of truce were then raised by the several gunboats and finally by Colonel Burrell on the wharf. Colonel Burrell, not having any information as to the reason of this cessation of firing, then ordered me to go on board the gunboats and find out the object of the flags of truce, and also to get the gunboats to come up to the wharf and take our men off, the enemy being too strong for us to contend against on shore. I got on board the Owasco, the Westfield being aground some 3 miles farther off. Captain Law, of the Clifton, had gone on board the Westfield, and while awaiting his return, in order to get an answer to my request, I saw from the deck of the Owasco our men being marched off prisoners by the enemy. This was done while the flags of truce were still flying at all points. On Captain Law's return he informed me that the gunboats would proceed to sea immediately; so, finding our men had been captured, by advice of naval officers I remained on board the gunboat and proceeded to New Orleans and reported in person to Major-General Banks.
I do not think over 20 of our troops were wounded and I do not know that any were killed. In addition to the three companies mentioned, with their officers, there were taken prisoners Col. I. S. Burrell, Surg. A. J. Cummings, Chaplain George J. Sauger, also LieutenantB. S. Stowell, of Company E.
We had entrenching tools for 500 men, some thirty days' commissary supplies, with three months' medical stores, and about 25,000 rounds of ammunition, all of which were lost, as also, I regret to say, were both of our regimental colors. The force of the enemy on shore was not less than 3,000 troops, with some twenty pieces of artillery, most of them being apparently 12-pounders, with some rifled guns. They had also planted on the eastern part of the island three 30-pounder rifled Parrott guns.
According to their own account there were not less than the same number of troops on their various gunboats. I know nothing of the loss of the enemy, but judge it must have been large. The gunboat Westfield, being aground, was blown up. to prevent its falling into the hands of the enemy, Commander Renshaw, with four of his chief officers and six of his men, being blown up in her.
I have to say that everything possible was done by our men that could be. They held clear the wharf on which we were situated until the flags of truce were raised; also drove the enemy from one of his guns, and by their well-directed fire prevented its being retaken again during the action.
The remaining seven companies of the regiment are now in camp at this place, under command of LieutenantCol. J. Stedman.
I have the honor to remain, general, respectfully, your obedient servant,
CHAS. A. DAVIS,
Adjutant Forty-second Regiment Massachusetts Volunteers.
Adjutant-General of Massachusetts.