War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0276 W. FLA.,S. ALA.,S. MISS.,LA.,TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXVII.

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HEADQUARTERS,

Port Hudson, La., March 18, 1863.

GENERAL: I desire that you will take the infantry of your brigade (except two regiments to be left at the breastworks) by the lane to the ward the Springfield road to skirmish with the advance of the enemy. I ordered Beall's brigade by Plain's Store and Baton Rouge road at the same time. Endeavor to obtain accurate information and send in frequent couriers. My object is not to seek an engagement with my whole force outside, but to interfere with the enemy's advance and cause him to develop his troops. If anything can be effected within 9 miles of this place i will move out additional troops to support you. I will send you some few cavalry for couriers. Send me word precisely where additional troops should go.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

FRANK. GARDNER,

Major-General.

Brigadier-General MAXEY.

P. S. - You can take one battery without cassions, with good horses, if you deem it necessary.

HEADQUARTERS,

Port Hudson, La., March 18, 1863.

COLONEL: I have the honor to make the following report of the engagement at this post during the night of the 14th instant with the enemy's fleet;

During the day of the 14th the enemy advanced with his retire force, two divisions by the Bayou Sara road and one by the direct road to Clinto, and moved his fleet up the river to within sight but out of range. At 2 o'clock p. nm. he commenced bombardment slowly from his mortar-boars at long range and gradually increasing the range until he threw his shells within the lower pat of the breastworks. This was continued until 6, without producing any other result than continued cheers form the men as his shells exploded. During the day Rust's pickets (his brigade being in advance of the breastworks) skirmished successfully with the enemy's advance. At 11 o'clock at night the fleet moved up, intending to pass seven vessels by, but were discovered immediately on starting by the signal corps on the opposite side of the river, who sent up signal rockets, and Rust's light batteries at Troth's opened on them.

The enemy immediately commenced bombarding from his mortar-boats and firing form all his vessels as he came in range. They advanced in the following order, as had been ascertained from prisoners: Steamship Hartford (flag-ship), with gunboat Kineo (not Monogahela, as reported) Monogahela, steamship Mississippi, gunboat Sachem, another not known, iron-clad Essex (remaining at long range), and sic mortar-boats towed above the point. While passing up all opened their broadsides as rapidly as possible. rust's two field batteries at Troth's Landing first received this tremendous firing; but, strange to say, without any harm, although the batteries kept up this unequal contest until the last. Next was Miles' 20-pounder Parrott gun, which was beautifully served; and then followed the heavy guns, first of De Gournay's battalion, and next the First Tennessee Artillery, under De Gournay's command; next the battery served by four companies of Colonel Steedman's First Alabama