came from the enemy. The moisture of the atmosphere held the smoke of the cannon so close to the ground that it was almost impossible to ascertain the distance or numbers of the enemy, or on what point he would mass his force.
At about 7 p. m. their loud shouts indicated that they were charging in our front. I immediately ordered the infantry to fire by rank and the artillery to use canister. Having no canister for the 6-pounder gun, we used in it packages of musket ammunition.
Notwithstanding a most rapid but accurate fire on our part, the enemy, who had dismounted before charging, advanced boldly up to our lines, firing continually as they came. Our infantry became nervous, and no longer fired by rank, but at will. At the same time a strong attempt was made to turn our right flank. This was prevented (though at one time they seemed on the point of success) by the enfilading fire of our reserve piece and the speedily rally of the men there posted. The attack of the enemy was principally directed against our guns, and the cannoneers of two pieces became panic-stricken and fled. These were the guns of the Twenty-fifth New York Battery, and the Bayou road, and the 12-pounder howitzer at the angle of our front and right flank. The contest over these pieces was hand-to-hand. The enemy were driven off at the point of the bayonet.
At length, at about 8 p. m., the Confederates, growing weary of a fight so unequal in its results, hastily retreated toward Thibodeaux, leaving a great number of their dead and wounded near our lines.
Our actual force during the fight amounted to 838 men, of whom only ably 600 were engaged, the remainder being posted as a guard to the field piece on the bridge and to protect our right. This was necessary, because the darkness rendered it impossible to see the enemy's movements, and few of the troops were steady enough to trust them to make any rapid movement in the excitement of action. The actual force of the enemy engaged in the charge on our lines I estimated at about 600 men.
Our loss was as follows
Command Killed Wounded Total
23rd Connecticut 2 16 18
26th Massachusetts 3 10 13
176th New York 2 12 14
42nd Massachusetts 1 3 4
Total 8 41 49
The enemy were engaged during the night in carrying away their killed and wounded who were outside of our lines, and the following morning 53 of their dead were counted inside of our pickets. When we entered Thibodeaux, Tuesday morning, nearly 60 wounded were found in the hospitals, from which I conclude that their loss in killed and wounded must have been 300, taking 50 as the number of their killed, and reckoning the ratio of killed to wounded as 1 to 4.
The men who charged upon our lines belonged mostly to the Second Texas Mounted Rangers, Colonel [Charles L.] Pyron, claimed to be the oldest regiment in the Confederate service, and the they had never before been beaten in action. Their wounded in our hands thought that our troops must be Regulars, so steadily did they stand at their