War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0177 Chapter XXXVIII. SIEGE OF PORT HUDSON, LA.

Search Civil War Official Records

the early part of the siege, the labor and blood of my command were freely contributed to sustain them. Now that the right is sorely pressed, and more vigorously menaced then any other part of the lines, I hardly think it just to me, or right in view of the public interest, to reduce my men to so low an ebb. Let me be understood: I will hold my line as long as a man stands up; but in justice to the men, who are worked and fought without rest day or night, i earnestly request that enough be left with me to give them an occasional respite of a day.

I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. R. MILES,

Colonel, &c.

Major T. F. WILLSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

ON THE FIELD,

July 7, 1863.

Sharpshooting, though less active to-day than yesterday, has been quite brisk. One man of the legion killed. The cannonading has been irregular; at no time very severe, and productive of no result. The enemy still works with the spade in close proximity to my rifle-pits, but it is impossible to fathom his designs. His tower grown and his ditch lengthens, one day in one direction, another day in another. This morning all his land batteries fired a salute, and followed it immediately with shotted guns, accompanies by vociferous yelling. Later in the day the fleet fired a salute also. What is meant we do not know. Some of them halloed over, saying that Vicksburg had fallen on the 4th instant. My own impression is that some fictitious good news had been given to his troops in order to raise their spirits; perhaps with a view of stimulating them to a charge in the morning. We will be prepared for them should they do so.

I am, major, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

W. R. MILES,

Colonel, &c.

Major T. F. WILLSON,

Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 47. Reports of Lieutenant Colonel Frederick B. Brand, Miles' (Louisiana) Legion, of operations June 24-27.

HEADQUARTERS RIGHT WING,

June 25, 1863.

SIR: I assumed command of right wing last night, as per order through Captain [R. M.] Hewitt. I left Major [J. T.] Coleman in command of my right. Lieutenant [James] Freret, of Engineer Corps, commenced a ditch in front of Battery 11, to place sharpshooters in, but did not finish it. The enemy advanced about 10 yards last night with their trench.

I keep up an occasional fire from Company [S. M.] Thomas' guns. I discovered that they had a bale of cotton, which they advanced as required; but watching the moment that they moved the bale, I gave

12 R R-VOL XXVI, PT I