War of the Rebellion: Serial 077 Page 0837 Chapter LI. SOUTHWEST MISSISSIPPI AND EAST LOUISIANA.

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sent it to [his] assistance. This left the Baton Rouge road picketed with but twenty men, while I had only Ogden's command of sixty-four me to protect Clinton, with the artillery and trains of the First and THIRD Louisiana and Ogden's command. I telegraphed Gober to leave pickets in front of Woodville, and by a rapid march to attack the enemy in flank and rear, but so soon as the enemy had been driven back to resume with celerity his original position at Woodville. The day passed without any message or dispatch from Colonel Scott. At 5 p. m. I was informed by telegram from Woodville that the enemy were entering Woodville 2,000 strong. It was now evident that the attack and invasion was a combined one, and that I must look for demonstrations both from Woodville and, as I had been previously warned, from Baton Rouge. I immediately sent couriers to Colonel Scott to cross to Centreville, effect a junction with Gober, and throw himself between Woodville and Liberty, the depot of supplies. Taking Ogden and all the trains, I crossed by a night march to Liberty and placed Ogden in position covering the approaches from Clinton to Woodville.

At daylight of the 6th scouts brought information that the enemy, 3,000 strong, were advancing from natchez by Wilson's Ferry road on Liberty, and through Meadville on Brookhaven. At 11 a. m. I learned that Scott had failed to concentrate with Gober, but that Gober had attacked the enemy at Woodville; had been repulsed, losing 3 pieces of cannon; that the enemy had dashed into Clinton from Baton Rouge 800 strong, and that another column was moving on Greensburg by way of Williams' Bridge, on the Amite. I had previously warned the officers on the line of the railroad to be prepared and to send everything valuable to Brookhaven, and had instructed Colonel Wingfield to call out the militia and defend the road. I now ordered both Scott and Gober to fall back to Liberty, and sent my own escort to scout the Natchez road. They did not arrive until the morning of the 7th, much jaded and worn down. I immediately massed the trains on the Brookhaven road, sending them nine miles back, and ordered the tros.

At 3 p. m. of the 7th the scouts on the Natchez road brought in word that the enemy had crossed the Homochitto and were advancing on the railroad. I ordered Colonel Scott with the First and THIRD Louisiana to proceed ten miles out on the Natchez road, Gober to guard the approaches from Greensburg; should Scott encounter the enemy to check him, and falling back effect a junction again at Liberty, when we would fall back along the Brookhaven road until the trains were safe, then resume active efforts against the enemy. At 7 p. m. a courier from Summit reached me with the information that the enemy had occupied Osyka and were advancing up the road, having dashed in at 2. 30 p. m. It now became, as I supposed, a matter of vital importance to get the trains to Brookhaven before the column from Osyka could reach them and before the enemy could reach Liberty. I ordered Colonel Scott to come in; that by consolidating all my force we could hold the Natchez force in check, while Ogden, with his small command, moved on in front of the trains. At 9. 30 p. m. a dispatch from Colonel Scott informed me that at 11 he would march by a cross-road to Marcellus, twelve miles back on the Brookhaven road, and join me. At 10 p. m. I moved back with Gober to the designated point and waited three hours, when intelligence reached me from Colonel Scott that, being satisfied there was no enemy on the railroad, he had gone back to Liberty. The citizens, however, were confident that the enemy were