near the canal, and relieved the Twelfth Mississippi Regiment, then on duty as a reserve force for the support of our pickets.
On the morning of the 11th instant, at about 5 o'clock, I received orders to report with my command at once at the market-house to Brigadier-General Barksdale. Before reaching the above place, I was intercepted by General Barksdale, and ordered to a point on the river forming the site of the old ferry, and instructed to confer with Lieutenant-Colonel Fiser, commanding [Seventeenth] Mississippi Regiment,* as to the best manner of disposing of my force to prevent the enemy from effecting a crossing. I was informed by General Barksdale that the enemy were attempting another crossing below the city; and as the force at that point was weak, I was to send three companies of my command to strengthen the same. I immediately placed Companies A, F, and D, under command of Captain [William] Baya, with instructions in conformity with the above. I then formed the remaining companies in line of battle in such manner as would best command the crossing and afford a cover for my men. The enemy were seen on the opposite bank, drawn up in two lines of battle, and his pontoniers were busily engaged in constructing a bridge. It was understood between Colonel Fiser and myself-my command being in position-that he would open fire and I would continue the same. At about 5.30 a.m., the pontoniers having advanced the bridge about two-thirds across the river, the Seventeenth Mississippi opened fire, and my command at once did the same with good effect, the enemy being compelled to abandon his work and flee to points of security. The force of the enemy supporting the pontoniers immediately opened a heavy fire with artillery and musketry, which was kept up almost continuously the whole day. Each attempt of the pontoniers to continue their work was met by a well-directed fire from my command.
Four officers of my command and about 20 enlisted men were wounded, and 7 killed, when I was borne from the field, having received a severe wound in the head. The command then devolved upon Captain [Thomas R.] Love, who maintained the position, though exposed to a galling fire of shot, shell, canister, and musketry, until about 4 p.m., when, in accordance [with orders], he withdrew his force.
I regret that the absence of Captain Baya, who, together with the three companies comprising his command, are missing, renders it impossible to give a report of the service performed by him. It is proper to remark that Captain Baya regarded the position intrusted to him as so exposed and admitting of so little means of escape that he objected to occupying the same until the order was repeated.
I am pleased to say that my command behaved in a manner creditable to their State and the noble cause in which they were engaged.
Below I furnish you with a list+ of the casualties of the Eighth Florida Regiment:
Captain David Lang, commanding regiment, seriously wounded in the head; Asst. Surg. D. Hooper lost a leg.
Captain, Commanding Eighth Florida Regiment.]
Major W. H. WHITTNER,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Perry's Brigade.
*See reports of Lieutenant-Colonel Fiser and Captain Govan, p.604.
+Nominal list, omitted, reports 2 men killed, 1 officer and 10 men wounded, and 10 men missing.