drawn to the Des Allemands Bayou. Shall I do this, or risk all by attempting to keep open the road to Brashear?
W. H. EMORY,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE GULF, NINETEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Before Port Hudson, June 21, 1863-2 p. m.
Brigadier General W. H. EMORY,
GENERAL: Your dispatch in regard to Brashear, saying that you have sent round the Saint Mary's is received. The commanding general does not regard it as important that we should run any great risk to save Brashear. He desires that you will send orders to Brashear to get off everything of value there and at Bayou Boeuf, including, especially, the guns, and, when pressed by the enemy, to retire on board the transport and proceed to New Orleans. The gunboat should remain in Berwick Bay, to prevent the enemy from crossing.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
[RICH'D B. IRWIN,]
HEADQUARTERS SECOND BRIGADE, SECOND DIVISION,
Boutte Station, June 21, 1863-4 a. m.
Lieutenant Colonel W. D. SMITH,
Acting Assistant Adjutant-General, Defenses of New Orleans:
COLONEL: I have the honor to inform you that this command arrived here at 8.10 o'clock last night, and, in pursuance of instructions, I disembarked a portion of the troops, viz, 185 men, belonging to the Ninth Connecticut Volunteers. Of the remainder, three companies of the Twenty-sixth Massachusetts, under the command of Captain Annable, were left at Bayou Des Allemands, with instructions to guard the bridge and ascertain the character of approaching trains, and, in case the troops in front were forced to fall back, to cover the retreat by obstructing the track, and, if necessary, burning the bridge. I have communicated with them once during the night by means of a handcar. This neighborhood all quiet.
I herewith transmit you a rough sketch of our position here,* as nearly as could be ascertained in the dark. The remaining portion of the command pushed on for the purpose of effecting a junction with Lieutenant-Colonel Stickney, which they accomplished about 12 last night. I have heard nothing from the cavalry force sent up the River road, and which left Algiers at 6 o'clock last night.
I have been unable to comply with your instructions in regard to keeping up constant communication with La Fourche, as I had no train at my disposal during the night, nor any means of communicating with the city. A telegraph operator with a field instrument is greatly needed at these headquarters. At present I am completely isolated, both from the city and from my command in front. The train by which I forward this dispatch brings down from La Fourche about 700 contrabands, mostly women and children, the able-bodied men being retained for intrenching purposes. Some of those on the train have the measles, and should be quarantined.