War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0158 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

Search Civil War Official Records

the Slaughter house. As soon as discovered, our troops attacked them, capturing a lieutenant and scattering the whole party back into the abatis, where they are now sheltering in the abatis. I have sent two companies of the best men in the Thirty ninth Mississippi to effectually drive them out. My only uneasiness is from an unreliable regiment which occupies the threatened point. They are within 300 yards of a battery of six guns and two mortars. It is impossible to remove them to-day. I can only re-enforce as necessity demands. The reference to the regiment is an official secret. It is the Tenth Arkansas. I have had to conciliate them. We cannot do otherwise now. My great troubles resulted from this cause. I was luckily in the trenches occupied by them during all the night fight. I have not been able to close my eyes during the night. I am well this morning. Colonel [W. B.] Shelby's left is quiet and has been all night. I have no report from the right of my line since dark last night. No casualties reported.

It is of vital importance that the 32-pounder be mounted as early as possible. The enemy, I think, will attempt an advance, if at all, under cover of this heavy battery opposite slaughter-pen. The trouble in the Tenth Arkansas prevented my getting all my regiments in permanent positions as I wanted. I am compelled to wait until night again, and then be governed by circumstances. Remember the secret as to this regiment. If this matter is stirred or talked, I fear we will have a mutinous regiment, but with caution I think I can assuage them until they are all right. Will send the prisoners soon.

Respectfully,

I. G. W. STEEDMAN,

Colonel, Commanding Left Wing.

Major [T. F.] WILLSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

HEADQUARTERS LEFT WING,

Port Hudson, June 11, [1863.]

MAJOR: From all appearances the enemy are preparing for demonstration in my front, and more particularly in front of the slaughter-pen. I have made all my dispositions, and am ready to use at best advantage the force at my disposal. If the attack is made at the point I most suspect, Colonel Shelby's troops will be principally engaged, assisted by the left wing of the Eighteenth Arkansas, posted round abut the battery at Bennett's house.

I have but one piece of artillery in such position that it can be used, and this open and exposed to the fire of the enemy's heavy battery. The enemy's battery now consists of our mortars and not less than six guns. The remaining two pieces of artillery in our battery at Bennett's can be used if the attack extends into the bull-pen.

Our men seem to be vigilant, and in as good moral condition as the mud and slop and surrounding circumstances will admit. A few shells fired from now till morning by Colonel Smith at the enemy's battery would be of great assistance in case of an attack. I would suggest the importance of this.

Respectfully, yours,

I. G. W. STEEDMAN,

Colonel, Commanding Left Wing.

Major WILLSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.