Headquarters NORTHEAST DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA,
Young's Point, La.
June 12, 1863.
COLONEL: I have the honor to report that, in accordance With instructions received from, me Colonel Lieb, commanding the NINTH Louisiana African descent, made a reconnaissance in the direction of Richmond on June 6, staring from Milliken's Bend at 2 a. m.
He was preceded by two companies of the Tenth Illinois Cavalry commanded by Captain Anderson, whom he overtook 3 miles from the side of Walnut Bayon and pursue ; it as far as Mrs. Ames' plantation, while Colonel Lieb proceeded along the main Richmond road to the railroad depot, 3 miles from Richmond, where he encountered the enemy's pickets and advance, which he drove in With but little opposition, but anticipating the enemy in strong force, retired slowly toward the Bend. When about half-way back, a squad of our cavalry came dashing up in his rear, hotly pursued by the enemy. Colonel Lieb immediately formed his regiment across an open field, and With one volley dispersed the approaching enemy.
Excepting the enemy would contest the passage of the bridge over Walnut Bayoun, colonel Lieb, fell back over the brigade, and from thence to Milliken's Bend, from whence he sent a messenger informing me of the success of the expedition, and reported the enemy to be advancing I immediately started the Twenty-THIRD Iowa Volunteer Infantry to their assistance, and Admiral Porter ordered the gunboats Choctaw to that point.
At 3 o'clock the following morning the enemy made their appearance in strong force on the main Richmond road, driving the pickets before them. The enemy advanced upon the left of our line, throwing out no skirmishers, marching in close column by division, With a strong cavalry force on his right flank. Our forces consisting of the Twenty-THIRD Iowa Volunteer Infantry and the African Brigade opened upon the enemy when within musket-shot range, which made them waver and recoil, a number running in confusion to the rear, the balance, pushing on With intrepidity, soon reached, the levee, when they were ordered to charge, With cares of no quarter.
The African regiments being inexperienced in the use of arms, some of them having been drilled but a few days, and the guns being very inferior, the enemy succeeded in getting upon our works before more than one or two volleys were fired at them. Here ensued a most terrible hand to hand conflict of several minutes' duration, our men using the bayonet freely and clubbing their guns With fierce obstinacy, contesting every inch of ground, until the enemy succeeded in flanking them, and poured a murderous enfilading fire along our lines, directing their fire chiefly to the officers, who fell in numbers. Not till they were overpowered and forced by superior numbers did our men fall back behind the bank of the river, ant the same time pouring volley after volley into the ranks of the advancing enemy.
The gunboat now got into position and fired a broadside into the enemy, who immediately disappeared behind the levee, but all the time keeping up a fire upon our men.
The enemy at this time appeared to be extending his line to the extreme right, but was held in check by two companies of the Eleventh Louisiana Infantry, African DESCENT, which HAD BEEN POSTED BEHIND COTTON bales and part of the old levee. In this position the fight continued