moved to the north, on the Opelousas road, and took position between the field and Bayou Bourbeau. The Ninety- sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry followed as a support. The Sixty- seventh Indiana, with two pieces of the battery, were sent out on the prairie in front of the camp, and to the west of the field. The Twenty- third Wisconsin was ordered to remain in front of the camp, and its colonel was directed to cover the camp. or move in support of the other troops, as occasion might require.
Firing soon commenced in the direction taken by the Sixtieth Indiana, and, after changing front forward on first company, I moved my regiment in line of battle from the left to the right end of the camp, so as to be nearer to the troops engaged. The firing from the direction of the Sixtieth Indiana, both of musketry and artillery, became very heavy and well sustained, and, in a short time, I saw that our force was falling back. I then learned that the Sixtieth Indiana and the artillery with it had encountered a brigade of infantry, accompanied by artillery and cavalry.
Up to this time no one supposed that the enemy had any infantry within striking distance of us, and I may state here that I was informed while I was a prisoner that the rebel infantry had been marched from Opelousas that morning, and put into action without an instant's rest. The attacking force of the enemy was so heavy that the Sixtieth Indiana and the pieces of the battery with it were compelled to give way. The Sixtieth Indiana broke ranks, I am told, and its men ran into the ranks of the Ninety- sixth Ohio Volunteer Infantry, who were in their rear, and broke them.
It was about this time that General Burbridge, waving his hat as he dashed up, ordered me to take position in a ravine between the right of the camp and the bayou. I put my regiment in the designated position as quickly as possible, and ordered my men to lie down, so that the Sixtieth and Ninety- sixth could pass over them. Many of the Ninety- sixth were her rallied by their gallant commander, Lieutenant- Colonel Brown, and placed in my line. I ordered the men not to fire a gun till I have the command.
At the moment I entered the ravine, the Eighty- third Ohio returned to camp with the baggage wagons, and artillery firing commenced on the prairie, where the Sixty- seventh Indiana was. I knew that if General Green's cavalry division was sweeping in across the prairie, as I doubted not it was, our condition was desperate enough. With one look at the Sixty- seventh, another at the Eighty- third, then in front of our camp, and another toward General Burbridge, who was trying to form the flying men in rear of my regiment, I turned by attention again to the advancing infantry of the enemy, and gave the order to fire as soon as it was within good rifle- range. Never was an order more coolly obeyed or better followed up. In ten minutes the regiment in my front was so doubled up that its men were 10 or 12 deep, and all mixed up, but still gallantly advancing. Two other regiments were also in the enemy's line, one to the right and the other to the left of that in my front, and each stretching beyond my flanks, and giving me a heavier fire than I could return. I then sent to General Burbridge for the Eighty- third Ohio, but he did not send it to our position. At this time I was wounded just below the left knee.
Failing to get re- enforcements, I maintained the fight as best I could for awhile; but I soon saw the long line of rebel cavalry (about 3,000 in number) charging across the prairie toward and around the camp, unchecked by the Sixty- seventh Indiana; in fact, the latter had then