War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0188 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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June 29, 1863.

GENERAL: Our victory at Donaldsonville was a brilliant affair; 100 of the enemy killed; wounded not known; prisoners, 120, including 1 lieutenant-colonel, 2 majors, 3 captains, and 5 lieutenants.


Brigadier-General, Commanding.

Major-General BANKS.


June 30, 1863.

COLONEL: The telegrams sent to headquarters have faithfully represented to you every movement made by our troops in the defense of the Opelousas Railway, Brashear City, and Donaldsonville. But it may be proper for me to give a connected history of events.

Brashear City was not in the list of what was turned over to me as the Defenses of New Orleans, but the critical condition of affairs there, and the inexperience of the officer in command, compelled me to assume control. On the 1st of June, I ordered Berwick City to be evacuated.

On the 7th, learning the troops at Brashear were in great disorder, especially the convalescents, and that the place was threatened by the enemy, and the lieutenant-colonel there in command having requested to be relieved, I sent Lieutenant-Colonel Stickney, Forty-seventh Massachusetts, the only officer available, to assume command. I also applied to Commodore Morris for a gunboat to be sent there, with which request he complied, at great inconvenience to the naval service.

Stickney at once commenced to put affairs in a proper condition, drove the enemy's pickets from the opposite bank of the river, and ascertained the enemy to be in considerable force.

On the 10th, after consulting with the general commanding, I ordered Fort Chene to be abandoned, as we had not force enough to hold it.

On the 17th, I warned Colonel Stickney that the enemy were planning a raid down the La Fourche, and on the 18th directed him to destroy every boat and scow he could find. I also re-enforced Donaldsonville, ordered it to be held to the last extremity, and asked Commodore Morris to send a gunboat there, which was done.

On the 20th, learning the enemy were mowing down the La Fourche in some strength, I directed Colonel Stickney, after guarding well his communications with Brashear, especially Bayou Boeuf, to proceed with all his available force to La Fourche Crossing. I also detached Colonel Cahill from this city to proceed to the support of Colonel Stckney with all the troops he could collect, leaving in this city only 250 men under Lieutenant-Colonel Stedman, Forty-second Massachusetts. A part of Colonel Cahill's command, the Twenty-sixth Massachusetts, under Lieutenant-Colonel Sawtell, united with Stickney that day, but before they had all got together, with a force of not more than 600 men, they repulsed very superior forces of the enemy, inflicting considerable loss, and in a manner which reflects the highest credit upon Lieutenant-Colonel Stickney and the men under his command.

The enemy withdrew, it was believed, in the direction of Brashear, intending to attack that place. Colonel Cahill, with his reserve, was immediately ordered forward to fall upon their rear. To overtake them was difficult, if not impossible, we having scarcely a squadron of cavalry and they at least three regiments of cavalry and twelve pieces of light artillery, and having also burned the bridge over the Chacahoula, from