Major W. L. Robards, chief of ordnance, was with me on the field and doing all to secure the fruits of the victory that could be done.
The wounded were sent rapidly to the rear, under the direction of Chief Surg. George Cupples, who had made every preparation, and by his active supervision saved the lives and conduced greatly to the comfort of the wounded. Too much praise cannot be awarded to him for his efficiency.
After burying the dead, the line of march was taken up for Morgan's Ferry, Colonel [Henry] Gray, with Mounton's brigade, having been called in, and Phillips' regiment of cavalry sent forward toward Morganza to repulse and check the enemy should they attempt to advance. The artillery reached the bank of the Atchafalaya at 7 p. m., and commenced crossing. Owing to the state of the banks, and that only one ferry-flat could be used, it was nearly daylight before their crossing was completed. Many of the infantry and dismounted men fell by the roadside, completely exhausted; but all were safely crossed the morning of the 30th. A small steamboat having arrived, was used in crossing the infantry.
I cannot award too much praise to the troops under my command for their rapid movements under the discouraging effects of a heavy rain and roads knee-deep in mud, and their willingness and enthusiasm to attack the enemy.
Colonel Henry Gray, with his command, proceeded to the point designated in his orders with all the speed possible, having to pass through the swamp by a trail which was pointed out to him by Lieutenant [E. A.] Carmouche and Private Newsome, whose services were invaluable as guides. Colonel Gray was also accompanied by General [J. L.] Lewis as volunteers aide, rendering him efficient service.
To Lieutenant-Colonel [J. E.] Harrison, commanding Speight's brigade, and Colonels [J. W.] Speight and [F. H.] Clack and Major [John W.] Daniel, who led their commands most gallantly to the attack, all honor is due; and to the officers of their several commands, who displayed great coolness in the action. Many of their men had never been under fire before, but moved like veterans up to the enemy under a heavy fire, and succeeded in driving them from house to house up to the levee, when Major [H. H.] Boone's charge was made.
The heavy loss sustained by Speight's brigade shows the desperate nature of the conflict, and it is not out of place to mention here, even where all distinguished themselves, the gallant bearing and activity of Lieutenant [John B.] Jones, assistant adjutant-general of Speight's brigade.
The charges made by Majors Boone and [L. C.] Rountree stand forth to be recorded in the annals of history. The lamented Lieutenant W. F. Sprivey, of Company I, Rountree's battalion, was killed in the charge. We deplore his loss, he being one of the most energetic officers in the brigade, and of tried courage and discretion.
Colonel A. P. Bagby, of the Seventh Texas Mounted Volunteers, in command of Green's brigade, brought his men most handsomely to the charge, and kept them in hand ready for any emergency, and by his activity rendered most efficient service.
Colonel J. P. Majors' command, consisting of two regiments and the Pelican Battery, were stationed on the west bank of the Atchafalaya, to protect the crossing and act as a reserve in case of necessity. Colonel Major accompanied and gave great assistance to me, acting in his usual gallant style, and to his staff officers I am indebted for prompt action when called upon.