War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0139 Chapter XXXVIII. SIEGE OF PORT HUDSON, LA.

Search Civil War Official Records

BEFORE PORT HUDSON,

May 30, 1863.

SIR: I report through you to the colonel commanding brigade that, in pursuance, of his orders, I reported on the 25th May to Colonel Paine, and was assigned to the duty of capturing the steamboats lying under the guns of Port Hudson, on Thompson's Creek, which I effected by a surprise, with 200 men of my own regiment and two companies of infantry of the Thirty first Massachusetts, and the left section of the First Maine Battery. I took the liberty of disobeying the instructions of the department commander as to the destruction of the boats, as I found that I could place them where a light guard would be sufficient and also found that in case of necessity they could be very easily run out into the Mississippi River and up to the upper fleet. For this I received the unqualified approval of the commanding general. In pursuance of orders, I turned over the steamboats to an infantry guard, with about 25 prisoners of war. The names of the steamboats are Starlight and Red Chief; both in perfect running order, and worth about $75,000.

Respectfully,

EDWARD PRINCE,

Colonel, Seventh Illinois Regiment Cavalry.

Lieutenant WOODWARD,

Assistant Adjutant-General, First Brigade, Cavalry Division.

Numbers 30. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Augustus W. Corliss, Second Rhode Island Cavalry of affair at Springfield Landing.

BEFORE PORT HUDSON, LA.,

July 2, 1863.

SIR: I have the honor to report that, in obedience to an order received from you this morning at 2 a.m., I marched with 88 men to report to General Dwight. I arrived at his headquarters at about 4 a.m., and was met by an officer, who said he was about to start to meet me. He informed me that the mail of the division had been captured by a party of rebel cavalry; that Captain Godfrey, of the Louisiana cavalry, knew where they were, and would join me, and aid in cutting them off and captured them.

We met Captain Godfrey, with about 15 men, near the Springfield road. He informed the staff officer that the mail had not been captured but there was a body of rebel cavalry near the church on the Baton Rouge road. The staff officer ordered me to proceed to Springfield Landing, and then to scout the roads east as far as the main road to Baton Rouge.

I arrived at Springfield Landing at about 7.30 o'clock, and found everything quiet. I started on my return at about 8 o'clock and had proceeded about 1 1/2 miles, when a messenger came to me, and informed me that the rebel cavalry were at the Landing. I at once ordered an officer to proceed down the road rapidly and gain what information possible; at the same time turned the head of my column about, and started to return. At this time we received a scattering volley from the enemy. I replied, and, I am quite, with effect. I ordered my