May 21-26, 1863.- Operations on the Teche road, between Barre's Landing and Berwick, La.
Report of Colonel Joseph S. Morgan, Ninetieth New York Infantry, commanding Provisional Brigade.
BRASHEAR CITY, LA., May 28, 1863.
SIR: I have the honor to report for the information of the major-general commanding Department of the Gulf, that, in compliance with his orders, I embarked my regiment on board of transports at this place and proceeded to Barre's Landing, La., where I reported to Colonel Chickering, commanding forces at that post. By his orders, the infantry and artillery, then at that post, were provisionally brigaded, and placed under my command for the purpose of convoying a train of contrabands and army stores to Brashear City.
In accordance to his orders, the convoy took up the line of march on the morning of May 21 instant,in the following order: The Forty-first Massachusetts Volunteers in advance, supported by one piece of Nims' battery, and one regiment of infantry, via the Teche road. The first day's march we made 25 miles, and averaged for the three succeeding days 18 miles. Nothing of importance transpired until th evening of the 23rd may, when a private, named Loomis, of the Ninetieth New York Volunteers, was reported to be shot by a planter named Wilcoxen, the circumstances of which are substantially as follows: The quartermaster of the regiment had gone to the plantation for the purpose of obtaining sugar sufficient for the use of the men that evening. Loomis was engaged in loading the sugar into the wagon when he was shot by Wilcoxen, who immediately made his escape across the bayou. Upon obtaining information of these facts, and in accordance with a recommendation of a board of commission appointed to investigate the matter, I ordered a detachment of mounted infantry to the place, to arrest all persons found thereon, in compliance with which they arrested the wife of Wilcoxen, whom I have brought to this place, and hold as a hostage until Wilcoxen delivers himself up, or she be released by a order of the major-general commanding. Secreted upon her person was found a loaded revolver, and in the house several fire-arms, which were brought away, and have been turned in to the proper authorities.
Apprehending,from information received, that I should be attacked at the bridge across the Teche at Saint Martin's, I ordered an additional regiment up to support Colonel Chickering and prevent the burning of the bridge, which I had been informed was the intention of a band of guerrillas, known to be in the vicinity, under Colonel [V. A.] Fournet. However, everything passed of quietly until evening of Monday, 25th instant. The train had encamped some 5 or 6 miles below Franklin, when word was sent to me that the rear guard, under command of Lieutenant Wood, of the One hundred and tenth New York Volunteers, had been attacked by guerrillas near Franklin. I immediately proceeded to the ground, and found the report correct; and, I regret to say, found Lieutenant Wood mortally, and several of the men slightly, wounded. I ordered the infantry up, together with one piece of Nims' battery. The infantry quickly deployed in fighting order. The guerrillas also deployed in line as skirmishers, but could not stand our advance, and took shelter in an old sugar-house near by. I then ordered Lieutenant Snow, of the battery, to shell them out, which was done. I have since learned they lost 4 in killed, we taking also 1 prisoner.
Previous to the attack, several officers of the One hundred and seventy-fifth New York Volunteers had gone back to Franklin to visit some friends there, and have not yet reported. It is supposed they were taken