War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0347 Chapter XXVII. OPERATIONS IN WEST LOUISIANA.

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light battery of the enemy, which was throwing grape into General Paine's brigade on the opposite shore, and which was supposed to be in position outside of the enemy's works on the left bank of the bayou, just above a sugar-house, but was ordered not to storm the enemy's works. I made my disposition for the attack, advanced my skirmishers beyond the sugar-house in plain view of the works, and discovered that there was no light battery outside the same. The Thirty-first Massachusetts Volunteers composed my line of skirmishers, supported by the Thirty-eighth Massachusetts Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Rodman. The advance of my skirmishers was hotly contest by the enemy, who were driven before them. A skirmish fight on the right of my line in and near the wood, was kept up till about 2.30 p. m. The ammunition of the Thirty-first Massachusetts being expended, it was relieved by the Thirty-eighth Massachusetts Volunteers.

About this time my brigade was re-enforced by the Fifty-third Massachusetts Volunteers, One hundred and fifty-sixth New York Volunteers, and the two remaining sections of the First Maine Battery. In accordance with orders from General Banks and Emory I made my dispositions were as follows: The Thirty-eighth Massachusetts in advance, deployed as skirmishers; Fifty-third Massachusetts about 150 yards in rear of the Thirty-eighth, and deployed as skirmishers; two section of the First Maine Battery, one under command of Lieutenant Haley and Morton, on parallel plantation roads leading to the enemy's works, and immediately in the rear of the second line of skirmishers; the remaining section was held in reserve; Thirty-first Massachusetts Volunteers immediately to the right and rear of the right section of the battery; One hundred and seventy-fifth New York immediately to the left and rear of the left section of the battery; One hundred and fifty-sixth New York in the wood on the extreme right, having been sent to turn the enemy's left flank; detachment of Louisiana Cavalry, under the command of Lieutenant Ives, posted in reserve, some distance in rear of my right.

These dispositions being made, at 3.15 p. m. I ordered an advance of the whole. My advance was met by a brisk fire from the artillery and musketry of the enemy, who was driven into his works.

About 5 p. m., the ammunition of the Thirty-eighth Massachusetts having been expended, it was relieved by the Fifty-third Massachusetts. At about the same time, having learned that the One hundred and fifty-sixth New York had a superior force to contend with on the right, I ordered the Thirty-first Massachusetts to go to its support. The Thirty-first Massachusetts having arrived to its support, a short time afterward the One hundred and fifty-sixth New York, Lieutenant-Colonel Sharpe commanding, supported by the Thirty-first Massachusetts, Lieutenant-Colonel Hopkins, charged and carried a breastwork of the enemy in the wood in front of our right, killing many of the enemy and capturing 86 prisoners, among the latter two lieutenants, one of the Seventh Texas Cavalry and one of the Eighteenth Louisiana Infantry. The fight was continued in front of the Fifty-third Massachusetts and the artillery, and by the Thirty-first Massachusetts and One hundred and fifty-sixth New York, the wood on the right, until darkness put a close to it, my troops having advanced to within 200 yards of the enemy's works, which line they held, notwithstanding repeated efforts of the enemy to drive them back. This line was held during the night. In my judgment two hours more of daylight would have enabled me to turn the enemy's left flank and witnessed the triumphal entry of my troops into his works.