War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0198 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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period; but trussing even at this late day that it may not be without interest to you, I send you the inclosed statement. There may be much in it which you may desire to remedy.

On the 20th day of June I received orders to proceed at once to La Fourche Crossing. The order having been received at about 4 p.m ., my battery, with all the baggage, was taken across the river and put on board the cars by 1 a. m. (night); the train left at 4 a. m. On reaching Boutte Station, I found Colonel Cahill stationed at that place with his regiment. He ordered me to leave one section of my battery with him, and to proceed myself with the other section to the La Fourche Crossing. I reached that place under about 10 a. m. of the 21st. My battery was soon unload and the pieces parked. I reported to Lieutenant-Colonel Stickney. He ordered out one of my pieces to shell a sugar-house, which I did most successfully, the distance being only about 1,700 yards; the shells, however, from some cause, refused to explode.

At 6.30 p. m. the scouts came in, announcing the rebels coming down in force.

In about 10 minutes my section was ready to move. While giving my attention to something else for a few minutes, Lieutenant-Colonel Stickney ordered off one of my pieces to take position on the left, in the Bayou road, to commence firing canister before any enemy could be seen. The position which he assigned was given before I had the least knowledge of its whereabouts-it was only by the firing of the piece that I could discover its position. I immediately rode to it, and found it stationed in the above road, about 2 rods in advance of our line of battle, in a most exposed position, and without any adequate support, and the piece was firing canister without stint. By this time, however, the enemy had formed in line of battle, and were rapidly advancing. The rebels now opened on us with howitzer, with shell and solid shot, but at too great a distance to seriously affect us any further than to frighten our infantry. The other piece into position to the rear of our front, and to the right of our right flank, and opened on the enemy's piece with fuse shell at 1,600 yards, very fortunately getting the range of the piece the first fire. The enemy's gun was silenced with the third shell. At this time the rebels were charging on our lines and were making a strong effort to turn our right flank. My piece being in position to enfilade their lines of attack on our flank, I ordered my piece to open on them with canister. The first fire was most disastrous and deadly on their ranks. Among the number who fell at our first discharge of canister was a the rebels fell back to the front, and finally made a hasty retreat, a large majority creeping off from the field on their hands and knees, so destructive was our fire.

As soon as we had firing, I learned that, on the last charge of the rebels, the support of my left piece had fled, and that my sergeant gave the order to limber to the rear, when the horses became unmanageable, and ran away and left the piece. The sergeant was evidently frightened badly-that piece, if properly managed, could have been made the most effective piece in the field. The Bayou road was scarcely 14 feet wide, with a levee 10 feet high on the left, and a ditch on the right, grown up with a thick growth of bushes on either side. The piece controlled the road. After clearing the road of the enemy, the piece could have been turned so as to have raked the whole assaulting