road leading from the path which he was to take to Madam Webb's plantation, and to press on the come out in the rear of the enemy, on the road near Madam Quirk's, and also near a Catholic church. Major Robinson was told that if the negro guide did not show him to proper road or path to accomplish this end that he must shoot the negro and return to this command. The Forth Wisconsin Regiment, in my advance, continued to drive the enemy in the front and pressed him nearly to the cross-road, which joins the road on the flank of Bayou boeuff, at Madam Quirk's and my rear thought he cross-road on Madam Webb's plantation, a road he had been distinctly ordered to avoid. Madam Webb's plantation, a road he had been distinctly ordered to avoid. Major Robinson made a thousand difficulties in the way of the execution of his orders. He accomplished nothing; and, as all hope was now lost of cutting off a portion of the enemy at the cross-roads, I contented myself with throwing a few shells into a sugar-house, said, by a prisoner I had captured, to be a station of the enemy's,and observing the effect which these shells produced. I then directed the method in which the troops should retire to Washington, and immediately left for that place.
This reconnaissance shows that the enemy was in strong force in cavalry in our front; that all his cavalry is now concentrated on the left band of Bayou Boeuff; that his cavalry is composed of Sibley's brigade, the enemy's Louisiana cavalry, Clack's battalion, and Hubbard's battalion-in all about 3,000 mounted men; that the artillery and infantry of the enemy have gone beyond Alexandria,a nd that while this force remained in its present position there is nothing to fear from attacks on the enemy's right from the plains leading toward Texas.
I shall send you the prisoner captured last night and any others who may fall into our hands.
I have the honor to be, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
WILLIAM DWIGHT, JR.,
Brigadier-General, Commanding Brigade.
Lieutenant Col. RICHARD B. IRWIN,
P. S.-This report has been written in a very hasty manner. I shall endeavor to see the brigadier-general commanding these forces as soon as I have rested from my fatigue.
WILLIAM DWIGHT, JR.,
No. 31. Report of Col. Richard E. Holcomb, First Louisiana Infantry, (Union), of operations March 29-April 20.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST LOUISIANA VOLUNTEERS, Bayou Boeuff, La., April 28, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that I joined my regiment on March 29 at Donaldsonville, having been absent a few days in New Orleans.