No. 26. Report of Lieutenant Thomas S. Hall, Twenty-eighth Maine Infantry, Acting Signal Officer.
HEADQUARTERS SIGNAL CORPS, Port Hudson, La., July 16, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that in obedience to verbal orders received from Captain W. W. Rowley at Brashear City, April 10, 1863, I reported for duty to Lieutenant J. L. Hallett, acting signal officer, and agreeable to instructions received from Lieutenant J. L. Hallet, I reported for signal duty to Captain Crocker, of the gunboat Clifton, the same day.
The Clifton left Brashear City with an expedition under command of Brigadier-General Grover on the morning of the 12th. Communication was kept open with the other boats until the fleet reached Indian Bend, where it arrived at 5 o'clock p. m. On the morning of the 13th, while our troops were landing, the enemy opened upon them with four pieces of artillery and 300 infantry. I was ordered to the Laurel Hill, which lay near the shore, to direct the fire of the Clifton's guns.
After the troops were landed the gunboat Clifton was ordered to proceed to Brashear City, and thence up Bayou Teche, to follow the army.
At 4 o'clock p. m. on the 13th we arrived 3 miles below Camp Bisland, where we found a number of torpedoes sunk in the bayou, which we had take up before proceeding farther. We were delayed until an active part in the fight which was then going on at Camp Bisland, our shot and shell having excellent effect on their works.
We proceeded up the bayou a little in advance of the army. I kept communication open with the land forces up as far as Newton. The Clifton there received order to return to Brashear City and wait for orders. I also received orders from Captain W. W. Rowley to remain on board the Clifton until further orders.
On the morning of the 16th we arrived at Brashear City. We took troops aboard, and at 2 o'clock p. m. started with the remainder of the fleet up Bayou Atchafalaya. Communication was kept open with the fleet night and day.
On the morning of the 18th the Clifton engaged the fort at Butte-a-la-Rose about half an hour, when the fort surrendered. The Clifton was disabled in the engagement, and returned to Grashear City for repairs. I was ordered on board of the Calhoun by Commodore Cooke, of the gunboats Estrella.*
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I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
THOMAS S. HALL,
First Lieutenant, Twenty-eight Maine Vols. and Actg. Sig. Off.
Lieutenant GEORGE R. HERBERT,
Adjutant Signal Corps.
*Portion here omitted will be printed in chapter covering operations against Port Hudson, May 14-July 9. Series I, Vol. XXVI.