I trust you will not consider it amiss or an act of insubordination, as I should express it to no one else.
In the first place, there was no necessity of a retreat, because we were strong enough to hold our position.
In the second place, if the reports were true with respect to the advance of the enemy, my battery should have been retained until the last, as a matter of safety. The situation of the depot was such that my battery could have defended it against all the force that the rebels could bring to bear against it, and all the guns and stores could have been loaded up and sent off; when my battery, and the cavalry as an escort, could have retreated on the Bayou road to the station.
Two thousand men, with one battery, can march back to La Fourche Crossing and never fight a battle, and, with the aid of a good gunboat, retake Brashear City. I am satisfied that the enemy are not 2,000 strong.
I have not written this in a spirit of criticism, for I do not feel that I am competent to do that. But, general, you will always find the Twenty-fifth Battery prompt to do its duty, and ever rendering a good account of itself, while I am in command.
I am, general, your most obedient servant,
JOHN A. GROW,
Captain, Commanding Twenty-fifth Battery New York Vols.
Brigadier General RICHARD ARNOLD,
Chief of Artillery.
Numbers 5. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Richard Fitz Gibbons, Ninth Connecticut Infantry, of skirmish at Chacahoula Station.
NEW ORLEANS, LA.,
June 27, 1863.
GENERAL: I have the honor to submit the following report of the movements of Companies C, E, G, I, and K, of the Ninth Regiment of Connecticut Volunteers, ordered to guard a train while repairing the track on the New Orleans, Opelousas and Great Western Railroad:
Left La Fourche Crossing at 8 a. m. on the 24th June, 1863. Arrived at Terre Bonne Station, distance, 4 miles; detached Company I, Captain Elliot M. Curtis commanding, to watch the cross-roads leading into the place; repaired the track 1 miles beyond the last-named stationed; then proceeded toward Chacahoula Station; arrived at a point within 1 mile of the station, where we found a bridge burning; commenced rebuilding this bridge. Between this bridge and the station was a very heavy swamp, both sides of the track, thickly wooded.
I immediately sent out Captain Wright, Company G, to skirmish up toward the station, together with Lieutenant Payne, Company C, Lieutenant McKeon, Company E, and Lieutenant Fitz Gibbons, with a sufficient force to support him. On arriving within sight of the station, a very sharp fire was opened upon our forces, which was briskly returned. I then ordered up Company C, Captain John G. Healy, and also Company E, Captain Terrance Sheridan; Company K, Captain Thomas Healy, and part of Company G, was kept in reserve. My fores being obliged to confine their operations to the railroad track, the enemy being posted