War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0287 Chapter XXVII. EXPEDITION FROM NEW ORLEANS.

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CATE'S SHOE FACTORY, 4 MILES NORTH OF PONCHATOULA,

March 24, 1863.

I have been engaged with the enemy in force, estimated at from 1,200 to 1,500 men, all day. I have 100 men. The force that attacked by railroad I defeated, but the gunboat leaned several hundred at Wadensborough in my rear, and I was compelled to retire. I fought the latter for some time near Ponchatoula, but when the two columns united I fell back 2 miles and made stand until sundown, when I drew off my command to this place.

The command behaved splendidly. My loss is small considering the time we were engaged. If you can re-enforce me I will retake Ponchatoula. It will require 500.

H. H. MILLER,

Lieutenant-Colonel.

Lieutenant-General PEMBERTON.

PONCHATOULA, VIA TICKFAW,

March 24, 1863.

The enemy advanced on Ponchatoula with from 1,000 to 1,200 men strong, and I contended every inch of ground with them, but was necessarily compelled to fall back on account of being overpowered. Am now fighting them 2 or 3 miles this side of Ponchatoula and falling back because they are advancing in heavy force, and if you can send me re-enforcements as soon as possible I would be glad for you to do so, for I am very anxious to whip them back to Pass Manchac.

H. H. MILLER,

Lieutenant-Colonel.

Lieutenant-General PEMBERTON.

CATE'S FACTORY, 4 MILES NORTH OF PONCHATOULA,

March 25, 1863 - 5 a. m.

Still hold this factory. Shall endeavor to prevent its destruction by enemy. Enemy encamped 2 miles in font, on ground we last fought on. appear engaged during night either destroying railroad or building breastworks. Thankful for re-enforcements. Soon as arrives will resume fight by attacking.

H. H. MILLER,

Lieutenant-Colonel, Commanding.

Lieutenant-General PEMBERTON.

CATE'S SHOE FACTORY,

March 25, 1863 - 2 p. m.

Since my last no change. Enemy still in position 2 miles in front. Appears to be entrenched. My skirmishers since daylight have been trying to draw him out. Shows no disposition to renew fight. I will not attack except in way certain of success. Two iron-clad gunboats and two transports brought them to Wadesborough. Inhabitants say they