War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0327 Chapter XXVII. OPERATIONS IN WEST LOUISIANA.

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To Colonel Irwin.

All right; soon as unloaded.

WEITZEL.

APRIL 10, 1863.

To Colonel Irwin.

Send a boat to carry a regiment over the bayou.

WEITZEL.

To General Weitzel.

What stream or bayou?

R. B. IRWIN.

To Colonel Irwin.

General Emory desires orders for Major Robinson and his cavalry.

To Colonel Irwin.

Head of column has passed.

EMORY.

On the 11th of April I received orders to report to Brigadier-General Emory, whose division was then on the march to Pattersonville, La. On the afternoon of April 12 our forces attacked the enemy, who were behind entrenchments at Camp Bisland, a few miles above Pattersonville, La. These fortifications extended on both sides of the Bayou Teche.

On the morning of April 13 I was ordered to report to Col. O. P. Gooding, who commanded the forces upon the northern bank, an date once opened communication with Lieutenant John A. Vance, acting signal officer, who was stationed with the forces upon the southern bank. We remained in almost constant communication until dark, when the engagement closed.

My records of the messages transmitted were lost during the subsequent march of the Army of the Gulf to Alexandria, La. We maintained communication between the troops on both sides of the Bayou Teche, directed certain artillery fire from guns which poured a heavy stream of shot and shell from the south bank of the bayou into the enemy's works upon the north bank, and transmitted orders for the disposition of troops, with information as to the support which was afforded them. It was of the utmost importance that Colonel Gooding should be informed of the movements of the commanding officer upon the south bank, and this duty was successfully discharged. Lieutenant John A. Vance, acting signal officer, was much exposed during this battle to a murderous fire of grape, which the enemy threw at the battery with which he was stationed. He rendered brave and valuable service. Private James E. Shidle, Company G, Ninth Pennsylvania, Reserve 'Corps, and Private George N. Simmons, Company I, Second Rhode Island Volunteers, deserve official mention for the courage and steadiness with which they carried my flag under fire.

I remained with Colonel Gooding's command until the 27th of April, when I reported to Lieutenant John a. Vance, at headquarters Major-General Banks, at Opelousas, La. No more signal duty was done by me upon that march.

I was ordered to proceed to New Orleans on the 15th of May, where I remained until the 23rd of May. On that day I left New Orleans for Port Hudson, La.

I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

E. H. RUSSELL,

First Lieutenant, Ninth Pa., Res. Corps, and Acting Signal Officer.

Lieutenant GEORGE R. HERBERT,

Adjutant, Signal Corps.