About 5 o'clock in the afternoon my pickets were driven in, and the cavalry of the enemy immediately afterward appeared in our front. I do not know how large their force was at that time, but judge it to have been under 100.
Our position was as follows: The levee of the Bayou La Fourche is about 12 feet high; the railroad crosses the bayou over the top of the levee, nearly in a direction perpendicular to that of the bayou, and is about 12 feet above the level of the surrounding country. For 5 or 6 miles to the east of La Fourche Crossing a carriage road runs up and down the bayou on both sides, close to the levee, passing under the railroad on both sides of the bayou. We were on the east side of the bayou and north of the railroad, our front being parallel with the railroad, extending about 150 yards from the levee, and being about 200 yards from the railroad. From the right of our front, I had a line of defense running perpendicular to and resting upon the railroad. I was obliged to have my front farther from the railroad than it otherwise would have been, on account of trees sending which could not be cut down. The country around was level, affording full play for the artillery, and was covered with tall grass, which I subsequently had cut down, as it concealed, in a measure, movements in our front.
A short time before our pickets were driven in, I had ordered a detachment of about 50 men, of the Twenty-third Connecticut Volunteers, under command of Major Miller, to lie down in the tall grass on both sides of the road long the levee, abut 450 yards in advance of our main line. After the first fire of the enemy, I found Major Miller some distance to the rear of his command, crouching in the high weeds on the levee. I ordered him under arrest, and ut in command of this detachment the next senior officer, who faithfully executed my order.
The remainder of the infantry was drawn up in line along our front and the extreme left of our right flank, with the exsection of a company of convalescents, under Captain Fletcher, Twenty-sixth Maine, who were at the railroad bridge. Captain Blober's cavalry was posted so as to guard against the turning of our right flank. The artillery was posted as follows: 12-pounder gun on the railroad, at the point where it crosses the left bank of the bayou; two 12-pounder howitzers and one 6-pounder gun on our front, on the howitzers being placed on the extreme right, so that its fire could be directed to the front or right flank.
After the cavalry of the enemy drove in our pickets, they continued to advance until fired upon by the detachment of the Twenty-third Connecticut Volunteers. A few volleys were exchanged without loss on our side, when our men fell back, and took position on the right flank. As the enemy were now in easy range, we opened upon them with shell and solid shot, the 12-pounder gun on the bridge doing the most execution. They stopped, seemingly surprised to find such preparations for their reception, and in a few that were killed or wounded by our fire.
Soon after the disappearance of the enemy, I sent a flag of truce to obtain permission to move our hospital stores and sick from the hospital, which was in front of our hospital stores and sick from the hospital, truce went 2 1/2 miles toward Thibodeaux before meeting the pickets of the enemy, who refused to comply with my request. I, however, succeeded in moving safely all the contents of the hospital to our rear, and just after dark burned the building, lest it should interfere with the effectiveness of our fire, and that, at the same time, the light might enable me to perceive the movements of the enemy. For the same rea-