During the night I issued orders to carry the works by assault at daylight, and, having done so, to pursue the enemy promptly and vigorously. The enemy began to evacuate his position about midnight.
At daylight Paine's brigade, of Emory's division, was in possession of his works. The pursuit began at once, although the men, in action all the day previous, had taken no food for more than twenty-hour hours. Since then we have been following close upon his heels.
Grover's division embarked on the night of the 11th, and, having been delayed some seven hours by a heavy fog, proceeded up Grand Lake at 9 a. m. on the 12th, to land at one of the landings opposite the head of Cypress Island. The roads from these landings were represented at good shell roads. They turned out to be, for a great part of the way, under water and full of deep holes, so as to be utterly impracticable for all arms. The gunboat Arizona got aground, and it took four hours to get her off. In consequence of these unfortunate delays it was not until late in the afternoon of the 13th that Grover had disembarked his command in Indian Bend and was on the march to intercept the enemy's retreat at Franklin.
The next morning he met and defeated the enemy at Irish Bend and joined us at Franklin in the afternoon. If it had been possible for him to reach Franklin at daylight on the 14th we should have captured the enemy's artillery, but his cavalry would have escaped through the prairies and his infantry would have scattered just as it has done.
Counting upon holding Franklin, however, on the morning of the 14th, I should have carried Fort Bisland on that morning, but it would have been with great loss, for the position was very strong by nature and had been very strongly fortified.
I was prepared to make the assault on the evening of the 13th, but had it succeeded then the enemy would have been driven back before I had reason to expect Grover would hold Franklin.
We have pursued the enemy closely more than 50 miles; we have destroyed the Queen of the West, ad have compelled him to destroy the gunboats Diana and Hart, with supplies of subsistence and ammunition to; we have taken eleven guns, one steamer, over a thousand prisoners, and large quantities of ammunition, camp equipage, and quartermaster's stores; we have captured and destroyed his salt-works below New Iberia; his infantry has dispersed over the prairies and in the woods, so that the people and the negroes tell us nothing but cavalry and artillery passed beyond New Iberia, and there is no thought among the prisoners or inhabitants that he will make any stand this side of Alexandria.
On the 9th instant, ad I learned by letters from Major General Richard Taylor, commanding the confederate forces in this district, to Captain Fuler, commanding the gunboats, he was preparing to attack us heavily in the La Fourche, seeking to regain that region and the waters of Berwick Bay.
ON the 12th we had opened the attack which was destroyed his army and his gunboats. There is not a gunboat left on the Teche.
General Taylor, in his letters to Captain Fuller, refers to the Grand Duc as nearly ready to receive her guns, and to the May T. as not to be waited for, because she will probably not be ready in time to take part in his contemplated recapture of the La Fourche.
I think the Webb is the only gunboat now in condition of defend Butte-a-la-Rose, and have ordered our gunboats to attack and take that place, aided by a detachment of infantry. I shall follow the enemy, without pausing, to Opelousas.