opened with our artillery and infantry upon them and checked their advance.
It soon became evident that it was the purpose of the enemy to detain us that point until his column from below had come up and hemmed us closely in. At about 7 o'clock the Twenty-eighth Louisiana Regiment, Colonel Gray, arrived at Franklin, reporting the remainder of our forces en route several miles behind.
I immediately posted Colonel Gray's regiment on the extreme left of our line, and with that, Vincent's, and Reily's regiments, and Clack's battalion, numbering in all less than 1,000 men, we charged the enemy's line and drove him back in confusion and with considerable loss to him.
The enemy then displayed a much larger force, which up to this time had been held concealed and as a reserve, but they were unable to recover their lost ground and were held in check. In this engagement with the enemy near Franklin I regret to announce the death of Col. Reily, of Fourth Regiment Texas Mounted Volunteers, who was mortally wounded just before the charge and died on the field. Colonel Vincent, Second Louisiana Cavalry, was wounded in the charge, in the neck; Adjutant Prudhomme, of the same regiment, in the thigh; Captain Bradford in the neck and leg. All these officers were gallantly leading their men.
Having repulsed the enemy and holding him in check I ordered the gunboat Diana to move up above Franklin and take position on the right of our line, so that her guns would sweep the fields and woods which the enemy had held, and placing Brigadier-General Mouton in command of the troops who were in line at McKerall's field, I repaired to Franklin and pressed forward the train and troops then just arriving on the cut off road from Franklin to New Iberia.
Colonel Green with the rear guard of his own regiment, Waller's battalion, and the rifle section of Semmes' battery had left the line below Bethel's just before daybreak, all the stores having been removed ahead of them; 24-pounder siege gun and a 12-pounder howitzer of Cornay's battery, the latter having been disabled during the action of Mouldy, being necessarily abandoned.
With great coolness and steadiness Colonel Green retired slowly before the heavy advance guard of the enemy, opening upon him with his artillery whenever he came within range and charging and driving hims back when the nature of the ground permitted such movements. I had given the necessary orders for the withdrawal of the troops under command of Brigadier-General Mouton, the abandonment of the Diana by Captain Semmes and his crew, and the burning of that vessel before Colonel Green with the rear guard came into the town of Franklin, at the upper end of which town the cut-off road commenced. but, as I have since learned, Brigadier-General Sibley, without communicating his intention to me, although I was in Franklin at the time, dispatched one of his staff officers to Colonel Green with an order to fall back at once through Franklin or the enemy would take possession of the road above at a point known as Harding's Lane and cut him off. In obedience to that order Colonel Green immediately fell back through Franklin into the cut-off road, set fire to the bridge on the road, taking it for granted that all the other troops had passed over. Brigadier-General Mouton with his command then retired, the general and his staff crossing the bridge while it was burning. Captain Semmes held the Diana in position, faithuflly discharging back. Thus by the unjustifiable and careless order of General Sibley the escape of Captain Semmes and his crew