War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0192 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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on fire; both vessels were a total loss. I think a small steamboat, called the Belfast, was also captured, as she went down the Bayou Plaquemine the previous evening to get a lot of molasses, about 4 miles from the river. The boat belonged to Edward Pilcher, of New Orleans. They also burned about 80 bales of cotton that were ready for shipment.

At about 9.15 a. m. the gunboat Winona, commanded by Captain [Aaron W.] Weaver, came down from Baton Rouge, and having heard, when 5 miles above, of the capture of the town, immediately commenced to throw shell, upon which the main body of the enemy left. I then made my way to the leave; hailed Captain Weaver, and procured a boat to take me and the 13 men on board. We also had the 2 wounded men placed on board the La Fourche, and sent along with my dispatches to Baton Rouge.

At about 11 a. m. we learned that a portion of the cavalry had returned. Captain Weaver immediately threw shell into that portion of the town where they were supposed to be. After about 90 rounds had been fired, I went on shore with my men, assisted by a squad from the boat, and marched through the town without finding any of the enemy, but we learned that they were in considerable force about 4 miles back, and under the command of Colonel C. D. [Joseph] Phillips.

A man named A. Grass was arrested for having guided the enemy into and abut the town. He admitted to me that he had done so, but says that he was compelled by threats to show them around the place. He lives near Indian Village, and has never taken the oath of allegiance. I left him in charge of Captain Weaver. Upon returning to the boat, Captain Weaver proceeded to Donaldsonville, to warn them of danger and to assist in case of attack; also, to leave the men who had escaped with me.

I am inclined to think that there is a force of from 5,000 to 8,000 men between Plaquemine and Simsport; also, that they have several cannon. It was generally believed, from remarks dropped by Confederate officers, that General Green was approaching with a brigade to occupy the town or to operate against Donaldsonville.

We lost about 35 Enfield rifles and a very small amount of commissary stores.

I remain, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

ALBERT STEARNS,

Captain, Provost-Marshal, Iberville Parish.

Brigadier General JAMES BOWEN,

Provost-Marshal-General, Department of the Gulf.

Numbers 3. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Albert Stickney, Forty-seventh Massachusetts Infantry, of engagement at La Fourche Crossing.

CONGO SQUARE,

July 9, 1863.

COLONEL: I have the honor to report that, in accordance with Special Orders, Numbers 16, from your headquarters, I proceeded to Brashear City on June 7 last, and assumed command of the forces there. I found things in a very disorganized condition, and immediately proceeded to put the place in the best state for defense that I could, and