to hold the enemy in check until the infantry could mount their horses and withdraw from the swamp, after which they were ordered to fall back, mount, and retreat. In the meantime I had one battalion of the Sixth Illinois Cavalry and two guns of our little battery organized to bring up the rear.
The section of Nims' battery, most of the Seventh Illinois, the Fourth Wisconsin, the Second Massachusetts, and Yeaton's company of Louisiana cavalry had all withdrawn and gained a good position on the high ground in our rear, when the enemy with a yell charged in solid masses upon our front and left flank. Captain Godfrey's company, from some unknown cause, had not obeyed the order to fall back and mount after the infantry had withdrawn, and, when the enemy charged, they found him still dismounted and his horses having gone to the rear, he took to the bushes and along the railroad, where the enemy, coming in upon his left, cut off a number of his men. The 2-pounder battery poured canister into the column advancing on our front with telling effect, until those on our left had come within 50 yards of the guns, when they were limbered to the rear, and the battalion of the Sixth Illinois falling in between them and the enemy, beat back the advancing host, and retreated slowly and in good order from the narrow defile.
Having crossed the last bridge, they filled to the right and left of the road, and, forming in the edge of the timber, awaited the approach of the enemy until they had advanced within easy range, when they poured volley after volley into them, repulsing them with considerable loss. Under cover of the consternation created in the ranks of the enemy, this battalion fell back to the brow of the hill, where the light battery and a line of battle had already been formed.
The enemy, recovering from his repulse, again advanced to the bridge, recrossed, but was met by volley after volley of canister from our little guns and from the line formed on either side of the road to support them. Being again repulsed and this time with fearful loss, they did not deem it prudent to follow us farther, and my command being by this time almost destitute of ammunition, I withdrew and returned to camp arriving about 12 m.
Our loss in this engagement was 8 killed, 28 wounded, and 15 missing; that of the enemy between 20 and 30 killed, over 60 wounded, and about 20 taken prisoners.
The officers and men all acted with the utmost coolness and bravery. Among the slain was the lamented Lieutenant Perkins, a brave and gallant young officer, commanding a squadron of the Second Massachusetts Cavalry.
The action lasted between three and four hours, and we succeeded in bringing off all but 3 of our dead and 7 wounded.
On the morning of the 5th, we again started for Clinton, in connection with a brigade of infantry and a battery of artillery, under General H. E. Paine, taking a road leading from the Bayou Sara and Baton Rouge road to the Clinton Plank road at Olive Branch. We encamped on the night of the 5th at Redwood Creek. On the 6th, made an easy march to the Comite River, 9 miles from Clinton, where we halted until 12 m., when we again marched, reaching Clinton at early daylight on the morning of the 7th. The enemy had pickets at Olive Branch and again at the Comite, but fired and fled upon our approach.
Arriving at Clinton, we found that the enemy, hearing of our approach had left the day before, taking the Jackson road until within 2 miles of Jackson, when they moved off toward Liberty. We found in