crew of the gunboat Arizona and about 100 cavalry at Pointe Coupee. Her commander was imprudent enough to send his sailors on shore to engage them. He lost several men, and had several taken prisoners.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Before Port Hudson, June 16, 1863.
Colonel CLINTON H. SAGE,
One hundred and tenth New York, Commanding at or near Fausse Point:
SIR: The commanding general directs that you at once return with your command to the position which you have just abandoned, and that you hold it until actually forced to quit it.
The commanding general learns, wit surprise, that you have felt yourself at liberty, without orders, without asking for aid, to desert the important position in which your command was placed, and in which you could successfully have withstood a vastly superior force, and that you committed this grave error upon mere rumors, without even feeling the enemy.
The commanding general desires an immediate explanation in writing of this extraordinary proceeding.
The other four companies of your regiment will be sent you to-day.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
RICH'S B. IRWIN,
HEADQUARTERS UNITED STATES FORCES,
Fausse Point, opposite Port Hudson, June 16, 1863.
Lieutenant Colonel RICHARD B. IRWIN, Assistant Adjutant-General:
SIR: I have the honor to report, in explanation of my move of yesterday, that on the night of the 13th a colored man came in from the Fausse River, about 12 miles distant, and stated that all the negroes in the vicinity were being collected to construct crossings on Bayou Grossetete for the enemy to cross. On the night of the 14th, my cavalry scouts came on the enemy's pickets on Fausse River, 12 miles out; we took two of the cavalry pickets prisoners. I have for one week had in arrest at this point one of the enemy's cavalry. On the arrival of the two last prisoners, this one stated he belonged to a command of five companies, who were in this vicinity a week previous; that Colonel Stone was in command of a force of one full regiment and the five companies, and that they were moving down upon us.
By moving my command to the lower fleet, I could picket the levee in front of Port Hudson equally as well as from this Point, and be better protected by the gunboats, as these here do not keep steam up, and I should be in communication with the Point, from which we get all our supplies.
I have received no direct orders as to what I should do here. I had supposed I was to protect this Point, and not allow any crossing to or from Port Hudson. I have aimed to do what seemed for the best.
I have returned to my old position. My cavalry report the enemy repairing a bridge destroyed yesterday, 6 miles out. Some report 500, some 3,000 as the number of their forces.
Most respectfully, your obedient servant,
C. H. SAGE,