War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0226 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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men). After crossing a part of the troops, I was ordered to pursue the enemy to the Boeuf. During the evening of the same day, I had quite an animated skirmish with him at the Ramos, where he had burned both the railroad and public bridges, and was well fortified on the east bank; but, finding that I had flanked him with a part of my command on the east side of the Boeuf, he hastily retreated. I threw a small detachment over the Ramos on the night of the 23d, and moved them as close as possible to the enemy on the Boeuf. Colonel Major's command being behind the enemy, and it being difficult for him to escape, about 400 strong surrendered to us about daylight on the morning of the 24th.

Our troops during the three days' campaign did their duty with great alacrity, and behaved with gallantry on all occasions.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,


Brigadier-General, Commanding First Cavalry Brigade.

Brigadier-General MOUTON,

Commanding, &c.


Saturday, June 27, 1863.

SIR: I have been all the morning collecting together all the information relative to the situation and strength of the defenses of Donaldsonville. After traveling all night, we arrived here at sunrise this morning, 8 or 9 miles from Donaldsonville. I learn from citizens that the fort contains from 300 to 500 Yankees, and that there are five gunboats there now. The approach to the fort is through an open plain 900 yards, and the ditch around it is 16 feet wide and 12 feet deep, making it impossible to scale, except by having strong plank or suitable ladders. I have had a full consultation (which, by the by, is not the best things to be governed by). They think that an attempt to storm will be attended with great loss and no adequate benefit, even if successful; and this is my opinion. The object of the expedition-being to annoy and take, if possible, the enemy's transports-can be better and more safety done by taking a position below Donaldsonville. I am making a bridge of sugar-coolers at this camp to cross one regiment, intending to win the horses. I will push that regiment close upon Donaldsonville, throwing pickets up on the river. I am about sending another regiment down on this side near the fort, throwing pickets above, where the river can be seen. My pickets above and below will be able to see what number of gunboats there are at the fort, and I propose to fix the bridge during the day so that I can get artillery on the Mississippi. With one rifle section I can make the transports coming up retreat.

Come down and take command. I want you badly, as I do not know fully what your views are, and would not like to take any steps in conflict with them. Until I came down here, I had no idea of the position, strength, or feasibility of taking the fort, or the value when taken. I think now the fort can be rendered nugatory by taking a position below it. Adopting the latter view will induce the Yankees very probably to abandon the fort or come our and fight us. Come down as soon as you can.



General MOUTON.