War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0349 Chapter XXVII. OPERATIONS IN WEST LOUISIANA.

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for the night on the bayou, just out of range of the enemy's guns, and where an old bridge was being repaired to give us communication with the other side.

I picket the ground this night, and the officer commanding the picket reports that frequently during the night the enemy's scouts approached within very short distance of our pickets, but a shot or two drove them back. Our position was covered by a long row of catalpa trees, which divided the fields.

At 4 p. m. the whole command was quietly called to arms, in anticipation of an attack, under cover of the morning fog; but nothing occurred until the arrival of Colonel Gooding, Thirty-first Massachusetts Volunteers, commanding Third Brigade, with the Thirty-eighth Massachusetts Volunteers, Lieutenant-Colonel Rodman. Immediately upon observing the ground, Colonel Gooding ordered two companies of my battalion into the field of action to skirmish along the edge of the woods on our right, which extended to the left and around the rear of the enemy's works.

I detailed Companies A and K, Captains Hollister and Hovey, under command of Captain Hollister. A sharp skirmish along the woods followed this movement, and I was immediately ordered by Colonel Goodwoods to the bayou, and advanced through the cane as far as the sugar-house on the bank of the bayou, to discover any enemy there secreted, and also a field battery, supposed to be stationed on the banks of the bayou above the sugar-house.

This advance having been made, but no enemy being discovered outside the works, the left of my line of skirmishers was advanced to just within musket range of the enemy's works, while the right fought its way along the woods and the center kept the line complete. In this manner my battalion was engaged some three hours, when we were relieved by the Thirty-eighth Massachusetts Volunteers, and feel back to the rear to replenish ammunition.

During this skirmish, being the only field officer with the battalion, I called upon my senior captain (Captain E. P. Hollister) to act as lieutenant-colonel, in which position he as well as my adjutant, First Lieutenant L. C. Howell, both being mounted and riding, of necessity, along the whole line of skirmishers, behaved with commendable energy and intrepidity.

In the disposition of the brigade made by Colonel Gooding, commanding, for the final attack of the day upon the enemy's works, the position assigned my battalion was that of reserve to the One hundred and fifty-sixth New York Volunteers, Lieutenant Col. Jacob Sharpe, which was ordered to proceeded along the edge of the woods to flank the left of the enemy's works.

The two regiments advanced, Lieutenant-Colonel Sharpe driving the enemy back by sharp firing until he reached a point some 50 yards from the wood, where I protected my reserve battalion from the fire by keeping the men lying down in the ditch, about five roads in the rear of the One hundred and fifty-sixth New York Volunteers.

In this position I remained until ordered by Lieutenant-Colonel Sharpe to support him, if it should become necessary, in a charge on the wood, and not otherwise. The gallantry of his charge left nothing undone, and I followed, only to receive some of the last shots of the retreating enemy. Together the two regiments slept upon the field which they had won.

Colonel Sharpe picketed the wood toward the enemy's works until