With this view I ordered the SIXTEENTH back to the bridge, with instructions to defend it; sent an order to Captain Zesch and Lieutenant Mack to follow by the bayou road, and sending also to Pin Hook, I put myself at the head of Captain Howard's squadron and Company E, and moved forward at a speed equal to the full capacity of our animals.
Near the town Captain Reed's squadron joined the leading squadron, and as our advance guard approached the town we received a heavy fire from the enemy, posted in and behind log-houses, by which Lieutenant Ford, who commanded the advance guard, and 2 men of his command were wounded.
The two squadrons and Company E dismounted and skirmished with the enemy until I found him so strongly posted that he could not be dislodged without a larger force or by the assistance of artillery.
In this skirmish Lieutenant Dilworth, a brave and promising young officer, was unfortunately killed. I then recalled the skirmishers, hoping, to draw the enemy from his position, but his was unsuccessful. After remaining some time, and making an unsuccessful effort to obtain a wagon to remove the remains of Lieutenant Dilworth, I deposited his body in a house and marched back to the bridge, meeting Captain Zesch and Lieutenant Mack, who reported that they had fallen into an ambuscade by which 3 men of Company B were wounded and 1 horse killed, but that they rallied at once, charged the enemy into the woods and drove them before them, killing 1 and wounding a number. I remained at the bridge during the night of the 10th, and sent out some scouting parties in the morning, who brought in a refugee white family scouting parties in the morning, who brought in a refugee white family a large number of contrabands, some horses, mules, and cattle. We then marched back to our camp on Old River and at this place.
Casualties: Killed-First Lieutenant George M. Dilworth, Company H. Wounded-Lieutenant Ford, Company A, slightly in left leg; Sergts. G. SMITH and Patrick John Dwyer, Thomas William, and Levi W. Tillotson, company E; Private Dennis Hogan, Company G.
Missing-Corporal [Joseph] Stewart, Company B; Sergeant [John] Woods, Company H; John Moore, Company G. Private Manley Knowlton, Company D, one of my orderlies, was unfortunately drowned in trying to swim a bayou on the field of battle while carrying a dispatch from Captain Wheeler to myself.
The loss of the enemy must be considerable in killed and wounded. Without making any systematic search, we found 4 dead bodies. We have 2 prisoners.
The object of this expedition having been to ascertain the strength of the enemy WEST of Bayou Macon, I am able to report that the best information I could obtain was that they had at Caledonia about 500 men of the Thirteenth [Battalion] Louisiana Cavalry and perhaps 300 irregular troops, and that he had at Pin Hook and in that vicinity about 1,000, and, perhaps, Captain William's battery. The resources of the hill country are by no means exhausted - corn, cattle, and hogs are abundant for a sparsely settled country.
The officers and men under my command all deserve your commendation.
I met with no single instance of cowardice, incapacity, or insubordination in the command, and if any once excelled in the manly virtues of a soldier it was because chance threw opportunities in his way that were denied to others.
You will allow me to mention Captain Zesch, of the First Kansas, as