War of the Rebellion: Serial 041 Page 0394 W. FLA., S. ALA., S. MISS., LA., TEX., N. MEX. Chapter XXXVIII.

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Speight's Fifteenth Texas (the latter commanded by Lieutenant- Colonel [James E.] Harrison), and three sections of artillery.

In pursuance of orders, I took up the line of march in the direction of Opelousas on the 1st instant, and overtook the rear guard of the enemy on Bayou Bourbeau, 7 miles below that place, consisting of two brigades of infantry, commanded by General Burbridge, of the Thirteenth Army Corps, and three regiments of cavalry and two batteries. After having sufficiently reconnoitered the position of the enemy, I determined to attack him, and made my dispositions accordingly. Colonel Roberts, in command of the three regiments of infantry before mentioned, was assigned to the command of our left wing, and was directed to sweep down the Bellevue road and occupy the timber below the enemy on the bayou, and assail his right flank. Colonel [J. P.] Major, with his brigade of cavalry, constituted our right wing, while Colonel [A. P.] Bagby, with his brigade of cavalry, occupied our center. Two of his regiments (the Fourth and Fifth) were dismounted, and acted as infantry for the occasion, supporting our artillery, which consisted of a rifle section of Daniel's battery and a section of the Valverde, commanded, respectively, by Lieutenants [Samuel M.] Hamilton and [P. G.] Humeboth sections being placed for the occasion under the command of Lieutenant Morse. These dispositions having been made, and the brigade commanders occupying the ground assigned to them, I ordered an immediate advance.

About 11 a. m. of the 3rd instant, Colonel Roberts drove in the enemy's skirmishers on his right flank, and commenced the attack. Our infantry was engaged for half an hour before our cavalry and dismounted troopers, with the artillery, were closely engaged on our right and center. Our infantry was most stubbornly resisted by the enemy, but they gallantly and steadily moved forward, without for a moment faltering, under a most terrific fire of artillery, and musketry. Our artillery was brought up within 400 yards of a line of the enemy's infantry, in front of their encampment, and fired a few shots into them, but about this time the cavalry, under Colonel Major, on our extreme right, dashed into the left flank of the enemy, while Colonel Bagby, with Herbert's regiment and Waller's battalion, mounted, and Hardeman's and Waller's battalion, mounted, and Hardeman's and McNeill's regiments, dismounted, charged them in front, the cavalry making, on a partially concealed foe, the most brilliant charge on record. Our gallant infantry, under their brave officers, had given the enemy such a chastisement on his right flank, pushing him back to his encampment, that the whole Federal force gave way as soon as the engagement became general and close.

The victory was complete, the fruits of which are about 250 of the enemy killed and wounded, 100 of whom are estimated to have been killed, and over 600 prisoners, 32 of whom were officers. Prisoners were taken from the following regiments: Sixtieth and Sixty- seventh Indiana, Twenty- third Wisconsin, Eighty- third and Ninety- sixth Ohio, First Louisiana Cavalry, and two batteries. Besides a large quantity of improved small- arms and accouterments, three pieces of artillery fell into our hands. We only had horses of the enemy's guns being killed. Two hours after our victory, General Weitzel, of the Nineteenth (U. S.) Army Corps, came up with a division of infantry of three brigades from Carrion Crow Bayou, 3 miles distant, and two regiments of cavalry. Deeming it imprudent to fight this large additional force, after a warm skirmish, I withdrew slowly and without loss, the enemy not attempting to follow me.