the bayou and on the right flank, and five companies in reserve in the opening between the wood and the road; two companies of Twenty-sixth Maine in the road; first section of Rodgers' battery, under command of Lieutenant Bradley; eight companies Twenty-sixth Maine Regiemtn; One hundred and fifty-ninth New York Regiment; Rodgers' battery, and Thirteenth Connecticut Regiment. Had marched about 2 miles, and the head of the column was within 40 rods of the right angle made by the road at Irish Bend, where, following the course of the bayou, it turns to the south, and crossing the open country, enters the wood, when the skirmishers on the right discovered the enemy posted in the edge of the wood, and concealed by a heavy rail fence. Brisk firing immediately commenced on both sides. The five companies of the Twenty-fifth Connecticut at once changed front forward, and advanced within 200 yards of the enemy's line. The Twenty-sixth Maine filed to the right into the field and formed on the left of the Twenty-fifth Maine filed to the right into the field and formed on the left of the Twenty-fifth Connecticut, both regiments lying down and firing on the enemy whenever he could be seen. At the same time the first section of Rodgers battery was placed in position in rear of the interval between the two regiments, directing fire principally on two guns, which, from their position where the road enters the wood, had opened on our forces as they marched into the field. It becoming evident that the enemy were in strong force, by direction of the general commanding the One hundred and fifty-ninth New York brought into action, forming on the left of the Twenty-sixth Maine. The Thirteenth Connecticut, turning the angle in the road, deployed between the road and the bayou, and advanced on the enemy's right, the second section of Rodger's battery taking position in the road and shelling the wood.
While these movements were in progress the enemy were re-enforced by the arrival on transports of troops from below, which, passing through the wood to the left of their line, gained unperceived a position in a deep ditch, concealed by thick bushes, and from which they obtained an enfilading fire on the Twenty-fifth Connecticut, Twenty-sixth Maine, and One hundred and fifty-ninth New York. These regiments held their ground bravely, and returned the enemy's fire with great spirit, until, having expended their ammunition, one-fourth of their number killed and wounded, and it being apparent that they were opposed by a greatly superior force, having advantage of the cover of the wood and fence, they withdrew and reformed their lines in rear of the First Brigade, now coming up to their support. In the mean time the Thirteenth Connecticut, on the left of the road, had entered a grove between which and the main wood was an open field, about 300 yards in width. Emerging form this grove under a deadly fire it steadily advanced, the men loading and firing as they marched; broke the enemy's lines, and driving him back in the utmost confusion, captured two caissons, one limber, a quantity of small-arms, the flag of the Saint Mary's Cannoneers, several horses, and from 50 to 60 prisoners. The regiment was now far in advance of the right of our line and in rear of the enemy's left.
Deeming it prudent to press the enemy farther until supported I ordered Colonel Warner to fall back to the edge of the wood and hold that position. The Twelfth Maine coming up, the Thirteenth again advanced and pushed through the wood, the Twelfth following, and the skirmishers of the First Brigade at the same time entering on their right. Little or no resistance was offered by the enemy, but on reaching the opposite ground beyond he was discovered in line with artillery, supported by infantry and cavalry, on rising ground about 1,000 yards distant. I immediately reported the position to General Grover, and was