Ellis, as skirmishers, which moved forward, and after marching some twenty minutes engaged about 40 rebel cavalry, whom they drove back. Shots were exchanged from 2 till 5.30 p. m. Captain Ellis was assisted by 10 cavalry, under Lieutenant Snow; also by Companies A and D, under the command, respectively, of Captains McCarthey and Kane, of my command.
After we had met the cavalry, and had been engaged with them about an hour, Lieutenant-Colonel Hopkins, with his command, re-enforced my little band, which consisted of only about 240 effective men, as also did Lieutenant Morton with a section of artillery. We moved rapidly forward after these re-enforcements, and passed nearly up to the sugar house with our infantry and in advance with that of our skirmishers, who here took seven prisoners with their equipments; and soon after another delivered himself up, declaring that he was a conscript and served against his will.
On that afternoon the two pieces of artillery took position just opposite the sugar-house and opened fire upon the rebel batteries, and continued firing for about half an hour, when, having all their fire directed against him, he was forced to retire, the odds against him in shots being nearly six to one.
I cannot pass by this opportunity without highly complimenting Lieutenant Morton, of the First Maine Battery, and the men under his command, for their skill and daring while laboring under such a heavy fire. They from their excellent firing drew the whole fire of the enemy from that side of the bayou on which we were stationed, and nobly stood at their posts until, their guns being heated and men very much fatigued, they withdrew behind the sugar-house. I formed line while the artillery was firing, with my own regiment on the right, and posted the Thirty-first on the left, their left resting near the bayou.
But two men were injured during the day's skirmishing, and those merely flesh wounds. Lieutenant Morton narrowly escaped, a fragment of shell gazing his neck and slightly bruising the skin.
Toward dark, seeing the army on the opposite side retiring, I deemed it prudent to retire about 200 yards, when I ordered the troops to bivouac, and soon after posted pickets on front, flank, and rear; also posting one piece of artillery in a position which commanded the gap in the small line of trees just above the bridge. The other piece protected another gap and commanded the front of those trees to a considerable extent. Having made these dispositions, I laid down to rest, but was awakened several times during the night by the pickets exchanging shots.
In the morning I sent all the prisoners to General Weitzel and delivered them over to him, and was ordered to report to General Emory again, which I did, and received through his orders both commissary stores and ammunition, which articles we stood much in need of.
I would mention in connection with this day's events that the rebel cavalry were at one time drawn up in line of battle and seemed to meditate a charge upon us. The artillery took up position and fired a couple of shots into them, which dispersed them, killing a lieutenant and three men. This was ascertained by First Assistant Surgeon Beckett, who saw some of the enemy fall and humanely went ot them, thinking that his professional services were needed, but he found their bodies horribly mangled and their spirits had flown to the other world.
After resting on our arms on Sunday night we were gratified ot find that you were coming over with the remainder of your brigade to take charge of the enemy on that side of the bayou. Soon after your arrival