flank, fearing if I pressed into the wood my men might be between two fires. I also reported that my center was nearly out of ammunition.
At 5.15 p. m. I was directed to allow my skirmishers to be relieved by the Fifty-third Massachusetts, which had been following `50 yards in my rear, and to send to the rear for ammunition. I brought back seven companies to a ditch about 100 paces in the rear of their advanced position, ordered them to retake proper intervals, and send details for cartridges. Just before this the One hundred and fifty-sixth New York, under Lieutenant-Colonel Sharpe, had come up in the wood, and my men on the right were extremely reluctant to retire. Finding that my left, acting under directions received from one of your staff, was moving a little farther to the rear, I ordered back my whole line to a point about 100 yards in advance of the road leading across the plantation from the sugar-house, where ammunition was immediately issued and preparations made to again advance to the support of Colonel Kimball.
The enemy's fire, which was strong at the time of the advance of the Fifty-third, soon slackened in front, but continued very severe in the wood on the right until dark. After this but few shots were fired, at long intervals.
My list of casualties indicated the severity of the fire of the enemy. My left was most exposed to the fire of the rebel artillery and suffered most severely.
Were I to enumerate, colonel, all of my command that behaved well I should send you my roster, and, with few emendations, my company rolls. Officers and men, on learning that the order was to advance into the enemy's works, from the first regarded themselves as a forlorn hope, but hesitated not to advance boldly, and, I think, performed all that could be expected of them. Every step in their advance revealed more and more the strength of the Confederate works, which were found vastly more formidable than was suspected in the morning.
I inclose a list of casualties, which shows a loss of 6 killed and 29 wounded; of these last, the surgeon's report shows 17 severely, 5 dangerously, and 7 slightly wounded. With one exception all these casualties occurred in the advance. My right, which entered the wood, found the bodies of 17 dead within the enemy's position, and were told that they were killed by the bullets of the companies forming my right, who fired coolly at the smoke made by the Confederate rifles. They also learned from prisoners that were taken in this quarters that there were two regiments at least in these woods, which fully expected to turn the right flank of your brigade, but were staggered by the steadiness of the advance, not only of the Thirty-eighth, but of all the troops of your command.
During the night of the 13th all was quiet until about 1 o'clock, when the enemy's artillery was distinctly heard on the roads beyond the wood in the rear of the rebel works.
At daylight on the morning of the 14th Colonel Kimball moved his command and took possession of the abandoned earthworks. The appearance of the national flag on the parapet was greeted with loud cheers form all parts of the field.
I moved my command into the works at 7.30 o'clock, and shortly afterward ordered the regiment to deploy and skirmish in the woods. The woods were only passable through paths and wood rods. In passing through, 4 prisoners were taken and turned over during the day. On reaching the bayou we were compelled to halt, owing to the partial destruction of the bridge. The Thirty-eighth, aided by some of the men