of skirmishers covering my whole front, the brigade moved forward. It soon met opposition from the enemy's small-arms and artillery, but he was steadily driven from ridge to ridge through the thick brush on either side of the road by the firm and resolute advance of my brigade, assisted by the timely use of the artillery, back to a very strong and elevated position, covered by extended rifle-pits on the left, where he made a more obstinate stand, holding my command in check for a brief period, when the Third Missouri Cavalry, on the right, charged and drove back the enemy in their front, thus flanking his rifle-pits, and compelling him to abandon them under a simultaneous charge upon the left of the line, when the whole force of the enemy gave way, and fled in the greatest disorder and confusion toward the Bayou Meto. The artillery was now ordered up, and poured a terrible bombardment on their fleeing columns for twenty-fire or thirty minutes, when the bridge was seen to be on fire. The general commanding then directed that the First Iowa Cavalry should charge and save the bridge, if possible. Lieutenant-Colonel [Daniel] Anderson, at the head of his regiment, led a gallant charge in the face of a terrible fire of artillery and small-arms, having his own horse shot under him, his command suffering considerably. From the intensity of the fire in the direction of the First Iowa Cavalry, it was evident they needed support. I suggested that a new position be selected for our batteries to cover and relieve the First Iowa Cavalry, now dismounted, and sharply engaged with the enemy. Receiving permission, I hastened to the front amidst a heavy fire of the enemy's artillery, reconnoitered, and selected an excellent position overlooking and commanding his. Our artillery was instantly ordered up, with supports, and placed in position under a continued fire from that of the enemy. Our batteries, in position, opened a tremendous fire, soon silencing the enemy's guns and driving them from their position. The Third Missouri Cavalry and Thirty-second Iowa Infantry had now boldly forced their way to the bank of the bayou on the left, pushing the enemy across it, it now being evident that there was a strong force of the enemy on this side the bayou, on the right of our line. After taking proper precaution for the safety of my right flank, I ordered Lieutenant-Colonel Stuart, of the Tenth Illinois, with a portion of his regiment, to drive them back, which this excellent officer promptly executed, putting them across the bayou, after a very hot contest. The purpose of the commanding general now having been consummated, and the evening far advanced, I was ordered to retire with my brigade to my former camp, near Brownsville, as there were no comforts for man or beast short of that point.
I now desire to speak in the highest terms of Lieutenant-Colonel [T. G.] Black, of the Third Missouri, Stuart, of the Tenth Illinois, and Anderson, of the First Iowa, my regimental commanders, for coolness, daring, and good judgment, cheerful and prompt in obedience to orders. The efficiency of our dismounted cavalry was to-day thoroughly tested. Of the Third Missouri and Tenth Illinois I must say they fought with the confidence of veteran infantry. I desire to bear testimony to the universal good conduct of officers and men. It is due to Major [G. A.] Eberhart and his battalion, of the Thirty-second Iowa Infantry, to say they gave a hearty and efficient co-operation.
Although the artillery was not formally under my command, yet circumstances sometimes placed it there. I am gratified to acknowledge the cheerful obedience to orders and the fearless conduct of the officers in charge, especially in the case of Lieutenant Clarkson, whose battery was in the advance during the day. The earnest but honorable com-