War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0359 Chapter XXVII. OPERATIONS IN WEST LOUISIANA.

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the other edge of the wood, and to hold the same and observe the enemy until further orders. Soon after reports from the front led me to believe that the enemy was in stronger force than had been at first anticipated, and Captain Closson's battery and two regiments of the Third Brigade, commanded by Col. H. W. Birge, were ordered ot the front to report to General Dwight. As it was not my intention to expose a large force to the view of the enemy until the whole division was in readiness to cut its connection with our point of landing, I ordered General Dwight to keep the body of his troops under the cover of the wood, but at the same time approved of his detaching a small force-a regiment of infantry and two sections of artillery-to prevent the destruction of two bridges across the Teche, which would be almost indispensable to our crossing. I also ordered Captain Barrett's company of Louisiana Cavalry to co-operate with this force. General Dwight's dispositions for this purpose were well made and were successful. As we had no train, except a few wagons, necessary to transport ammunition, it became necessary to issue as much hard bread and coffee as could be carried in haversacks and return the rest of our supplies to the transport. Though all possible dispatch was made, the division was not able to take up its line of march of the south bank of the Teche until 6 p. m.

I may as well state in this connection that, from information which has recently come into my possession, I learn that the enemy had obtained information through their scouts of the passage of the flotilla and transports by Centerville, but a short distance form Camp Bisland, the day before, but had no information as to the force under my command. Immediately a courier was dispatched to Buttle-a-la-Rose with orders for the rebel gunboat Queen of the West, and any others available, to move down into the lake and attack us by water, while a small force of cavalry and artillery from Camp Bisland, and another small force of infantry, cavalry, and artillery from New Bisland, and another small force of infantry, cavalry, and artillery from New Iberia, was ordered to observe our movements and dispute our landing. These forces did not, however, have time to effect a junction before our advance guard, under General Dwight, had succeeded in taking up a strong position, which perfectly covered it. Neither did their gunboats arrive until after we had cut our connection with the landing, and then only to meet with discomfiture and the loss of the Queen of the West. Another courier was dispatched about 12 m. to the rebel commander at Camp Bisland with information that the United States forces had landed in force near Madame Porter's plantation.

About 6 p. m. the division marched for the Teched and crossed on the upper of the two bridges which had been saved and encamped at night-fall on Madam Porter's plantation, about 5 miles for mourn landing. The enemy at this time held a strong position in the wood in our front, and the night was too dark to make dispositions ot dislodge or even to find his position, or for our own skirmishers to kept up the connections. It became necessary therefore to halt for the night.

On the morning of the 14th, at daybreak, my command advanced in the following order, viz: The Third Brigade, with Nims' battery. Colonel Bridge, commanding the Third Brigade, having made the usual dispositions for meeting the enemy, and with a strong line of skirmishers in front, advanced about 2 miles to near the edge of a dense wood, where his skirmishers were checked by a heavy fire from the enemy, strongly posted behind a rail fence and concealed by under-growth. The enemy also had two pieces of artillery well posted under