MAY 18, 1863.- Affair near Cheneyville, La.
Report of Brigadier General Godfrey Weitzel, U. S. Army.
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES, Murdock's Plantation, May 19, 1863.
SIR: Sine my dispatch of yesterday,* the enemy's cavalry has appeared. Lane's Texas regiment was encamped at Lloyd's bridge (13 miles above here) last night. Their pickets extended below Cheneyville. I attacked the outpost with two companies of my cavalry last night, and drove the whole in on the main body, capturing 2 prisoners. A deserter also came in. Prisoners and deserters also say that the cavalry force is all following. Orders were sent back to bring all their troops bank to Alexandria on their transports. Would it not be well to send some gunboats up the river to stop this Would it also not be well to keep a watch at Moreauville to prevent any cavalry making a raid along the Mail road
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Brigadier-General, U. S. Volunteers, Commanding.
Lieutenant Colonel RICHARD B. IRWIN,
Assistant Adjutant-General, Department of the Gulf.
MAY 18-19, 1863.- Operations about Merritt's Plantation, and on the Bayou Sara road, La.
Reports of Colonel Nathan A. M. Dudley, Thirtieth Massachusetts Infantry, commanding Third Brigade, First Division, Nineteenth Army Corps.
CAMP ON MERRITT'S PLANTATION, LA., May 19, 1863.
CAPTAIN: I am in receipt of your communication dated 10 o'clock last night, which did not reach me till 8 o'clock this morning. The enemy last night made an attack on my cavalry pickets, driving them in within half a mile of my main camp; at the same time an attempt was made to get in on my rear with an infantry force, each of which failed. The force in front was large. They attempted at three of our different points, but found each picketed. From information gained from parties that came in this morning, and the experience of last night, I think it expedient, in the absence of the major-general commanding, that Holcomb's battery and at least one regiment of infantry, two, if possible, should be added to my present immediate force. They had better start at once, in order to reach me in time to be posted across the bayou on my left toward the Springfield Landing road before dark.
Let them march with only rubber blankets and two days' uncooked rations. Camp kettles can be brought out in wagons.
I am, sir, respectfully, your obedient servant,
N. A. M. DUDLEY,
Colonel and Acting Brigadier-General, Commanding.