War of the Rebellion: Serial 021 Page 0369 Chapter XXVII. OPERATIONS IN WEST LOUISIANA.

Search Civil War Official Records

When the rebels evacuated this place they burned the steamer Wave. The flat with its cargo I leave at this bridge, under a strong guard, subject to your orders. The captain and his brother will be found there prisoners. The captain is particularly well acquainted with all the waters in this neighborhood of the Red River.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM DWIGHT, JR.,

Brigadier-General.

Lieutenant-Colonel IRWIN,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ADVANCE BRIGADE, Satcham's Plantation, on the Bayou Boeuff, 20 miles beyond Washington, La., April 24, 1863-6 a. m.

SIR: I have nothing from your headquarters in reply to my communications of yesterday morning and the previous evening. I reached this point yesterday at an early hour in the afternoon. I had in front of me during the whole of yesterday's march a body of about 500 of the enemy's cavalry, which had left Cheneyville Wednesday morning, April 22, to come down Bayou Boeuff and watch our movements. They offered no resistance of any consequence, keeping about 30 to 40 men just out of our reach all the time. From this squad we captured 4 prisoners.

The valley of this bayou has been so often overrun by the enemy's cavalry that it is a poor field in which to look for horses and saddles; the cattle, too, are easily secreted here. A great deal of the cotton of this region has been burned, but a great deal yet remains. The most of it is unpinned or lying loosely in the gin; this is owning to the scarcity of bagging and rope in this country. I had intended to have sent my train to Opelousas last night with a load of cotton, but the quartermaster who had the matter in charge oared the teams with unpinned cotton; fortunately, I found this out before the train started, and had the wagons unloaded. I shall send this train forward to-day loaded with baled cotton; but there is no way to remove the cotton and sugar from this region except by means of water transportation. As horses and saddles are not to be obtained here, and as I am without the means to remove cotton and sugar, I shall retire a short day's march to-day. I am without rations, but I have ground a large quantity of corn-meal, and if I had coffee, subsistence would be easily obtained here.

It would seem to me that the place to look for cattle and horses is on the prairies above us. There I am assured they are as plentiful as they were on the prairies over which your army passed on its way to Opelousas.

I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

WILLIAM DWIGHT, JR.,

Brigadier-General.

Lieutenant-Colonel IRWIN,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS ADVANCE BRIGADE, Satcham's Plantation, on the Bayou Boeuff, 20 miles beyond Washington, La., April 24, 1863-4.30 p. m.

SIR: My last communication from Alexandria is to 4 o'clock p. m. on Wednesday. Two intelligent negroes, who were teamer in the rebel

24 R R-VOL XV