JANUARY 14, 1863.-Engagement on Bayou, Teche, La., and destruction of Confederate gunboat Cotton.*
Report of Lieutenant B. F. Winchester, Louisiana Artillery.
QUARTERS FARIES' BATTERY, P. L. A.,
Camp Bisland, Bayou Teche, La., February 19, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to say that, having forwarded a detailed report of the late action (January 14) on the Teche to brigade headquarters, I now submit a synopsis thereof for your information. This battery took position here, under orders dated January 13. Early on the morning of the 14th, the left section (two 12-pounder bronze field howitzers), under Lieutenant J. R. Winchester, proceeded down the main bayou road and got in battery just in time to protect the C. S. gunboat J. A. Cotton, whose gunners and pilots had left their posts, they being unable to stand the hot fire of the Yankee sharpshooters. Here the left section dispersed the Yankees, and enabled the gunboat, which had swung against the bank of the bayou, to become manageable, and retire up the Teche.
The left section remained there until it had exhausted all its canister, 20 rounds. It then fell back to its original position, on the right of the earthworks of Battery Fusileer, and about 4 p.m. dislodged the entire force of the enemy from the shelter of the Bethel residence and negro quarters, by the discharge of 40 rounds of spherical case.
The center section (two 6-pounder bronze smooth-bore guns), under Second Lieutenant Oscar Gaudet, stationed in the open field to the right of the bayou, about 12 m. dispersed an advancing Yankee column and a section of artillery by the discharge of 19 spherical case. This section was soon after ordered to cross Bayou Teche and report to Col. Leopold [L.] Armant, commanding Eighteenth Regiment Louisiana Infantry Volunteers, where it remained until the Federals retired.
The right section (two 3-inch Parrott rifles) took position in this fortification and played on the enemy; first on this bank of the bayou and then on the other, alternatively, at intervals during the day, terminating with 7 shots on the evening of the 15th of January. The rifle section fired a total of 40 fuse shell.
Casualties: 3 men slightly wounded; 2 horses slightly wounded, and 1 fatally.
I am, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
B. F. WINCHESTER,
Senior First Lieutenant, Commanding Faries' Battery.
Captain T. A. FARIES, Commanding Battery.
APRIL 9-MAY 14, 1863.-Operations in West Louisiana.+
Report of Captain T. A. Faries, Louisiana Artillery, of engagement at Fort Bisland.
FARIES' BATTERY, P. L. A.,
Near Lecompte, La., April 22, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report that I left camp at Bisland with this battery on Friday morning, the 10th of April, instant, crossing to the
* See also pp.233-237.
+ See also pp.292-400.
69 R R-VOL XV