our position on the east bank. During the engagement on our left Colonel Bagby was wounded seriously, but not dangerously, in the arm, but remained on the field with his regiment until the enemy had been driven back and ceased his attacks.
Our ability to hold our line of defense, even against the greatest odds in favor of the enemy, was fully demonstrated by the engagements of consequent upon their hard service for the two preceding days in the earthworks, I was satisfied that if the regiment of Vincent and Reily and the sections of Cornay's battery, which had been sent to the lake shore, could be successful in preventing the enemy from landing in my rear, thus enabling me to use them as reserves and relieve the troops on the line of earthworks, we could have held our position or driven the assailants back to the bay.
About 9 o'clock on Monday night I received a dispatch from Colonel Reily, informing me that the enemy had landed a very heavy force at Hudgins' Point; that he had met Vincent's cavalry on the west side of the Bayou Teche, he having fallen back before them; that the enemy had crossed the bayou over the bridge at Mrs. Porter's plantation, and had crossed the bayou over the bridge at Mrs. Porter's plantation, and that his (Reily's) whole command was at Carline's, 1 1\2 miles below Franklin. Thus the enemy were left in possession of the only road by which a retreat of our forces toward New Iberia could be effected. With a force of at least 14,000 men in our front and hits movement of the enemy in our rear in heavy force the situation of our little army, which at the commencement of the contest was less than 4,000, was most critical. To extricate it by evacuation of the position at the earthworks and cut its way through the force on the New Iberia road above Franklin was the only plan which presented itself, and to be successful it must be immediately attempted. I therefore ordered all the wagons, containing quartermaster, commissary, medical, and ordnance stores, to be started at once on the road to Franklin, and all the infantry and artillery, except one rifle section of Semmes' battery, to march at the earliest practicable moment on Franklin. The Fifth Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers and Waller's battalion of mounted men, with the rifle section of Semmes' battery, Lieutenant West commanding, constituting the rear guard, were ordered to evacuate the position below Bethel's before daybreak, cover the retreat of our army, skirmish with the enemy if he pursued us, and retard his advance until we had forced a passage through he column above Franklin. As soon as these orders had been issued and proper instructions given for removing the sick and wounded I proceeded to Reily's command and moved it forward above Franklin. Just before daylight this command-Reily's and Vincent's regiments and Clack' battalion, the latter having just reached me from New Iberia, and two sections of Cornay's battery, were marched to the field in front . A section of Cornay's battery was then moved up the bayou road and took position at the lower edge of the field, above these woods, and Vincent's and Reily's regiments, with Clack's battalion, were posted in line of battle along the upper skirt of the woods, fronting on the field.
Immediately after daylight the enemy's skirmishers appeared in the upper portion of the field in front of our line, and were quickly followed by his forces, consisting of four regiments of infantry, a battalion of cavalry, and a battery, on the left, in line of battle. We