HEADQUARTERS FOURTH WISCONSIN VOLUNTEERS,
Near Alexandria, La., May 14, 1863-10 p. m.
GENERAL: The reconnoitering party has returned. They found the enemy at Judge Boyce's, behind a breastwork of cotton bales thrown across the road and bridge, their numbers variously estimated from 100 to 300. Our men fell back a few miles, when the infantry dismounted and drove them back and the cavalry followed them to the bridge.
We lost three horses, but no men, and took one prisoner. The prisoner belonged to Colonel Lane's Texas regiment, which left Texas fifteen days ago. The regiment crossed the Cane River day before yesterday, and yesterday was in the Piny Woods. Captain Semmes' battery was following it. There was one piece of artillery at the bridge this evening-perhaps more.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
S. A. BENA,
Colonel, Commanding Detachment.
No. 19. Report of Col. Oliver P. Gooding, Thirty-first Massachusetts Infantry, commanding Third Brigade, of engagement at fort Bisland.
HEADQUARTERS THIRD BRIGADE, THIRD DIVISION,
Opelousas, La., April 21, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with orders from General Emory on the 12th instant, my brigade, excepting the One hundred and seventy-fifth New York Volunteers, marched with our army from Pattersonville toward the enemy's works on Bayou Teche, some 4 or 5 miles distant, the One hundred and fifty-sixth New York Volunteers, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Sharpe, following the line of the railroad.
A short distance from Pattersonville, pursuant to orders from General Emory, I sent the Fifty-third Massachusetts Volunteers, Colonel Kimball, to re-enforce Colonel Ingraham's brigade. A short time subsequent I sent the Thirty first Massachusetts Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Hopkins, to the left bank of the Baoyou Teche to re-enforce the One hundred and seventy-fifth New York Volunteers, Colonel Bryan, which was skirmishing with the enemy's pickets on that bank of the bayou; the Fifty-third Massachusetts Volunteers and the One hundred and fifty-sixth New York Volunteers afterward rejoined the brigade. On arriving in front of the enemy's works an artillery duel ensued. Seeing that my brigade was exposed to the shots and shells of the enemy, I marched it 200 or 300 yards to the rear and caused the men to lie down. In the mean time the One hundred and seventy-fifth New York Volunteers, supported by the Thirty-first Massachusetts Volunteers, carried on a brisk skirmish with the enemy on the left bank of the bayou, gallantly driving him before hem.
On the morning of the 13th I was ordered to take my best regiment and proceed to the left bank of the Bayou Teche, assume command of all the forces there, and hold at all hazards the pontoon bridge which had been thrown across the bayou, which I did. I had been there but a short time when I received an order from General Emory to attack a