Davidson, commanding cavalry division. At daylight on the morning of the 26th, I reported with my regiment, and was assigned the advance on the road leading from Brownsville to Bayou Meto.
Squadrons D, E, F, and G, under the immediate command of Captain [J. D.] Jenks, were sent forward as advance line of skirmishers, and came upon the enemy's pickets soon after passing our own outposts, to which place they had been driven on the evening of the 25th.
The regiment, supported by the Third Missouri Cavalry and a section of artillery, advanced steadily, driving the enemy back toward their rifle-pits, a distance of 6 miles. No casualties occurred during the day. The enemy's loss is not known. Captain [B. S.] Powell, of Marmaduke's regiment [division], was left mortally wounded on the field.
In the afternoon we returned and bivouacked for the night on the road, 3 miles from Brownsville.
On the morning of the 27th, the regiment moved forward in rear of the Third Missouri Cavalry. Squadron E, having the advance, was deployed as skirmishers. Squadrons D and F were sent to reconnoiter on the left of the main road leading to Bayou Meto. Squadrons G and H supported the advance battery. When our advance had driven the enemy out of his camp and rifle-pits, and he was retreating across the bayou at the bridge, the bridge was discovered on fire, and the regiment was ordered by General Davidson, commanding division, to charge with drawn sabers, and save the bridge, if possible. In making this charge, the regiment was exposed to a terrible fire from the enemy's artillery and sharpshooters. We reached the bridge, but not in time to save it; it was already enveloped in flames. The enemy were strongly posted in rifle-pits beyond, and their batteries, having good range, were well directed. I then dismounted the command and went forward on foot. Never have I seen greater coolness or courage displayed. Not a man flinched from performing his whole duty as a brave and loyal soldier. When I had ascertained the position of the enemy by severe skirmishing half an hour, I withdrew under cover of the hill and out of range of their guns. In the charge my own horse was shot five times, and many of my men were dismounted.
The following is a correct list of the killed, wounded, and missing of the regiment: Squadron A, killed, 1; wounded, 3. Squadron B, wounded, 5. Squadron C, wounded and missing, 1; wounded 6. Squadron E, wounded, 5. Squadron K, wounded and missing, 1; wounded 3. Squadron L, wounded, 1. Squadron M, wounded, since dead, 1; wounded, 1.
Lieutenant-Colonel First Iowa Cavalry, Commanding.
E. D. TOWNSEND,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Washington, D. C.
Numbers 13. Report of Major Joseph W. Caldwell, First Iowa Cavalry, of engagement at Bayou Fourche.
LITTLE ROCK, ARK., September 13, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to make the following report of the action of the First Cavalry Iowa Volunteers in the battle of the 10th instant:
On the evening of the 9th instant, I received orders to be in readiness to move early on the morning of the 10th, with the effective force of the