the enemy pressed us with artillery and an unusually large force of skirmishers, and, not being able to ascertain his precise strength with skirmishers on account of the large cornfield crossing the whole valley, I concluded to feel him a little more heavily, and, if a favorable opportunity offered, to make an assault on his advancing columns. Accordingly, after checking the enemy's advance by heavily re-enforcing our skirmishers, I made dispositions for an attack. Calling Colonel Lane, who commanded Major's brigade, from the other side of the bayou, I gave him the necessary instructions for is operations on that side. Immediately after the return of Colonel Lane to his command, I commenced the attack on the left ascending bank of the bayou, and soon found the enemy deployed entirely from the La Fourche to the swamp across the broad valley. Not having troops enough on the left ascending bank to front the entire line of the enemy, I attacked his two wings with the largest part of my force. Captain [H. A.] McPhaill, with a part of the Fifth and a small detachment of the Seventh, moved upon the bayou, attacking the enemy's artillery and carrying it in gallant style, killing most of his gunners and terribly cutting to pieces his infantry supporters. At the same time, Colonel Hampton, with the Fourth Texas, was charging gallantly the enemy's artillery and carrying it in gallant style, killing most of his gunners and terribly cutting to pieces his infantry supporters. At the same time, Colonel Hampton, with the Fourth Texas, was charging gallantly the enemy's right wing and turning it, while Colonel Herbert, through the fields, with the Seventh Regiment and a part of the Fifth, was driving in their center in splendid style. The enemy frequently railed in the ditches across the fields, but one of their flanks or the other was invariably turned by us at every stand they made, and a fire poured down the ditches, while Colonel Herbert, with his command, moved upon them in front, and thus we drove them for about 4 miles and almost to the walls of the fort. each stand they attempted to make was more feeble than the preceding. The ground over which we fought was strewed with the dead and wounded of the enemy, while our loss was very inconsiderable. There were over 500 of the enemy killed and wounded, of whom 200 were left dead on the field, and about 250 prisoners. We captured a large number of the most improved small-arms, principally Enfield rifles. We captured also three pieces of artillery, one of which was a very superior rifled gun, besides ammunition, provisions, tents, and wagons, teams, and much other camp equipage.
In this battle the prisoners represented that we fought the brigades of Generals Weitzeal and Dwight on the right descending bank of the La Fourche, and a part of the command of General [Cuvier] Grover on the other side. The whole of this battle was a succession of charges, and I have never before witnessed such determined valor as was displayed by our troops. They frequently charged upon the enemy in line of battle, and delivered their fire upon them at 25 paces, with the coolness of veterans. The victory on our part was a signal one, and the rout of the enemy complete.
Where gallantry displayed by our officers and men was so universal, I cannot make distinctions. The regiments under the command of Colonel Lane, on the opposite side of the bayou, behaved with gallantry. That portion of Colonel Lane's own regiment which was dismounted moved up the bayou along the levee, and gallantly co-operated with our troops on the left descending bank. In this action the enemy were so roughly handled that they attempted no further movements from Donaldsonville during our stay on the La Fourche.
Our loss did not exceed 3 killed and 30 wounded, 6 mortally, while that of the enemy in killed, wounded, and prisoners was little less than 1,000. This great disparity of loss is most wonderful, and can only be