No. 37. Report of Captain Robert T. Dunham, Assistant Adjutant-General, U. S. Army, of the capture of the steamer Ellen.
BARRE'S LANDING, LA., April 22, 1863-9.30 p. m.
SIR: I have the report that we have captured the steamer Ellen. As soon as we arrived here a negro informed me that a steamer was down in a small creek emptying into the Courtableau. I immediately requested Colonel Blanchard to send an officer and 10 men for her, and she has just arrived; is a stern-wheel boat, over a hundred feet long, capable of carrying over 400 bales of cotton, and is in good order. What shall I do with her?
I have found over 300 hogsheads of sugar, 200 bales of cotton, have captured about 25 good horses, and will drive in any number of mules, cattle, and sheep.
We have encamped here for to-night. The road down the Courtableau is only passable to a point 4 miles below this. This afternoon I sent a small cavalry force down to that point, and the lieutenant reports that the country contains nothing of value or worth confiscating. I found the bridge over the Teche broken down, but repaired it; crossed with 20 cavalry, and went up the Courtableau to within 4 mils of Washington.
To-morrow morning I intend crossing the Courtableau in the Ellen with a company of cavalry, and scour the country in every direction for 8 or 10 miles. I will doubtless find a great number of mules, horses, and cattle. Will drive them all in, and cross them to this side on the steamer.
What shall I do with the cotton and sugar?
Will start for Opelousas on the morning of the 24th. Engines of Ellen in perfect order.
I have the honor to be, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
R. T. DUNHAM,
Captain and Assistant Adjutant-General.
Lieutenant Col. RICHARD B. IRWIN,
No. 38. Reports of Lieutenant General E. Kirby Smith, C. S. Army, commanding Trans-Mississippi Department, of operations April 9-23.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT TRANS-MISSISSIPPI, Alexandria, La., April 23, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to inclose a report of General Taylor's recent operations in the Teche and in Western Louisiana.
The enemy landed at Berwick Bay a column of at least 18,000 men, thoroughly equipped and prepared for offensive operations. General Tayor's effective force was not over 4,000.
The completeness with which the enemy was repulsed in his attacks of the 12th and 13th, the skill and ability with which our little army was extricated from apparently irretrievable destruction on the 14th,