War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0199 Chapter XXXVIII. OPERATIONS IN LA., WEST OF THE MISSISSIPPI.

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line of the enemy on our front. The sergeant allowed that golden opportunity to slip, and left his piece in the road. The moment the fact came to my knowledge, in order to mortify the sergeant of that pieces, I sent my sergeant with his limber and brought it off. The men at my piece behaved most gallantly-so much so, I have mentioned them in my report to Colonel Cahill.

General, you may recollect, when last up to Apollo stables, that I had a deserter in confinement awaiting trial, and that on my desiring to withdraw the charges and try him again, your ordered him brought out and talked to him. General Emory shortly afterward ordered his release. He acted as Numbers 5 at the piece under my charge, and fully redeemed himself. The action lasted an hour and a quarter. For some reason or other, the enemy was not pursued by our cavalry. We had a company of cavalry of about 80 in number. We lost, I believe, 9 killed and 30 wounded; the enemy lost about 70 killed and over 200 wounded. The force on our side engaged did not exceed 400, but that of the rebels exceed 800. At 12 p. m. that night I saw Colonel Stickney, and advised him to retreat to Boutte Station, as the rebels had within 5 miles not less than 2,000 effective men, and, without any re-enforcements, he must evidently overcome us. I forgot to mention that we had one 18-pounder brass piece, called the Saont Mary's gun, two 12-pounder howitzers, and one 6-pounder brass piece, all in position, which were well managed during that fight. The next forenoon was occupied with a flag of truce, which the enemy sent up asking the privilege of burying his dead. While this was pending, Colonel Cahill arrived with his forces. We were then about 1,100 strong, and, through the strength of our position, we could effectually defend our position again 2,000 rebels. The arrival of Colonel Cahill was distinctly seen by the rebels, and that night they commenced to retreat. On the next morning we made a forced reconnaissance to Thibodeaux, and found that all the rebels had left the country. On Monday afternoon, the 22d, the Fifteenth Maine regiment arrived, making us at least 1,700 strong. On this reconnaissance was this regiment, with 140 men of the One hundred and seventy-sixth New York, and my battery. Finding no enemy, all returned but the One hundred and seventy-sixth New York, who were left in possession of the town. With the forces which we had, we could successfully resist an attacking force of the enemy of 3,000.

On the 24th, in the afternoon, negroes and white men came flying into camp, reporting that the rebels were advancing 3,000 strong, with eleven pieces of artillery, and that they were within 5 miles of Thibodeaux.

The next report that came was that the rebs, finding that the One hundred and seventy-sixth New York, with a section of my battery, were holding the bridge at Thibodeaux, had changed their course, and were advancing on the other side of the Bayou La Fourche.

At this juncture I received orders to take my caissons off the field and to load them up. Not knowing whether this meant an advance or a retreat, I went to one of the colonel's aides, and told him that it was necessary for me to know, in order to determine what to take with me. I was told to take with me. I was told to take everything. Colonel Cahill had telegraphed for cars, and they were hourly expected, and should have been all at the depot at 6 p. m. Matters began to look ominous. There was one locomotive here, but the colonel sent that off a distant of abut 5 miles with a company of the Twenty-third Connecticut to guard the railroad track; that, with the other trains failing to arrive, created a perfect panic.