[APRIL 29, 1863]-1. 15 a. m.
Above I respectfully submit a verbatim copy of a message which was received by the operator at Fayette, and has been transmitted to the parties addressed therein. As there was not a copy of it addressed to you, I have taken the liberty to inclose one.
L. S. LINDSEY,
Operator, on Duty.
Number 13. Report of Major J. De Baun, NINTH Louisiana Partisan Rangers. NEAR PORT HUDSON, May 6, 1863.
I obedience to Special Orders, Number 120, date April 28, 1863, I immediately proceeded with 80 men in the direction of Woodville, MISS., which place I reached on Wednesday, April 29, 1863, at 1 o'clock, when I reported by telegraph for further orders.
On the morning of Thursday, April 30, I received instructions from headquarters to proceed with all the cavalry to Osyka, MISS., and report to Colonel [W. R.] Miles, or to join Lieutenant-Colonel [George] Gantt in the direction of the enemy. Before leaving Woodville, I divided my command into two companies of 40 men each, one commanded by Lieutenant [B. B.] Starns and the other under Lieutenant J. B. Dunn, of Company D, the whole under Captain [E. A.] Scott, senior captain. Finding at Woodville a detachment of 35 men under Lieutenant ---- ----, of Company A, Gantt's cavalry, I ordered them with me. This increased my force to 115 men. Not being able to ascertain the where-abouts of Lieutenant-Colonel Gantt, I proceeded in the direction of Osyka, to report to Colonel Miles. On the same day I reached John Reeves' farm, 30 miles from Osyka, on the Osyka and Centerville road, where I encamped for the night.
Early next morning (Friday, May 1) I resumed my line of march in the same direction. At 11. 30 a. m., the men and horses being fatigued, I stopped to rest at Walls Bridge, 8 miles from Osyka. At about 11. 45 a. m. a volley in the direction of our rear guard warned me that the enemy was in the neighborhood. I immediately ordered the bridge to be dismantled and the men ambushed, posting men at the bridge to destroy it as soon as the rear guard would have reported. Some ten minutes had now expired, and the rear guard not reporting, captain E. A. Scott went up the road to ascertain, if possible, the cause of the delay. I regret to say that he was captured by some of the enemy in the advance, wearing our uniform. At the bridge the road suddenly turns to the left, screening the road so the enemy could not be seen until they were at the bridge. A few minutes after the departure of Captain Scott, the enemy made their appearance at the bridge, delivering two volleys at the men there posted, without effect. Immediately my men opened a deadly own acknowledgment, 16 men and killing 15 horses. Among the wounded were Colonel Prince and Lieutenant-Colonel Blackburn, of the Sixth [Seventh] Illinois Cavalry. Colonel Prince has since died. * Lieutenant-Colonel Blackburn is a prisoner, with 3 privates, dangerously wounded.
*An error. He was mustered out on expiration of service, October, 1864.