War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0193 Chapter XXXVIII. OPERATIONS IN LA., WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI.

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to obtain all possible intelligence of the force and designs of the enemy in that vicinity. I reported to you from time to time the operations at that post, and at the same time made what preparations were in my power for defending any other threatened points on the line of the Opelousas Railroad.

On the morning of June, at about 4 o'clock, I received a telegram from you, informing me that the enemy were advancing in force on La Fourche Crossing, and ordering me to send re-enforcements to that point. Judging that there was no danger of any attack at Brashear City, of a day or two, at least, and thinking that affairs at La Fourche required my presence there, I left Major Anthony, Second Rhode Island Cavalry, in command of Brashear City, and went to La Fourche Crossing immediately, with such forces as I could spare from Brasher, intending to return as soon as possible to my former station.

I reached La Fourche about 6 a. m., with 75 men of the Twenty-third Connecticut Volunteers and 115 men of the One hundred and seventy-sixth New York Regiments, 46 men of the Forty second Massachusetts, and two pieces of artillery, one 6-pounder gun and one 12-pounder howitzer. I had ordered Captain Blober, with his company of First Louisiana Cavalry, on the day previous to scout the country as far certainly as Nepoleonville, and farther, if possible with safety, and to send immediately any intelligence of the enemy he might obtain. He went only a mile or two beyond Labadieville, and returned with no intelligence whatever of any force on the Bayou La Fourche. He also reported that gentlemen from Napleonvile gave no information of any force in that direction. After my arrival at La Fourche, I sent out Captain Blober and his command again to scout the country above Thibodeaux. They returned on the afternoon of the 29th, reporting that they had been closely pursued by the enemy, and had lost 2 of their men. The force of the enemy advanced very rapidly on Thibodeaux that day, being almost entirely composed of mounted men and artillery, and captured nearly all the infantry stationed there and in the vicinity on the plantations, amounting to about 100 men. They were 47 men of the Twelfth Maine, with 2 lieutenants, convalescents, from Brashera; about 10 men of Company D, One hundred and seventy-sixth New York Regiment, and a very few men who had been stationed as guards on plantations. Captain Blober's company was mostly composed of new recruits, and, in consequence, undrilled and undisciplined. Had their scouting been properly done, there was no necessity whatever of the infantry force at Thibodeaux being captured. They had only to retreat this side of the bridge over Bayou La Fourche, and then march down under cover of the levee. The enemy rested two or three hours in Thibodeaux before the bridge could have defended themselves against merely their advance guard.

On the afternoon of Saturday, I received an order to send back two companies to Brashear, but, as the enemy were then advancing down the bayou to the crossing, I did not dare at that moment to weaken my force by sending them away. I sent a train back to Terre Bone to bring down to La Fourche the company and one piece of artillery there stationed. The enemy succeeded in capturing 1 commissioned officer of the company at Terre Bonne, the others of the company escaping on the train and arriving safely at La Fourche. Immediately afterward the railroad and telegraph were cut at Terre Bonne, and the place occupied by cavalry.

13 R R-VOL XXVI, PT I