War of the Rebellion: Serial 084 Page 0468 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. Chapter LIII.

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The force at Brashear City consists of Eleventh Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry, 554 officers and men; Thirty-third Illinois Volunteer Infantry (two companies), 121 officers and men; Twenty-fifth New York Battery, 59 officers and men; Eighteenth New York Cavalry (one company), 75 officers and men; First Indiana Heavy Artillery (one company), 105 officers and men; total, 914 officers and men; add force at Berwick City, &17 officers and men; total force at both places, 1,631 officers and men; the whole under the command of Colonel C. L. Harris of the Eleventh Wisconsin. A number of small-arms of the force at Brashear are unserviceable and require the immediate action of an inspector, for which application has been made.

To protect the gunners in the forts against musketry sand-bags should be furnished, to be filled and put in place as occasion may require. Twenty-five hundred sand-bags would be sufficient. there are some ordnance stores and quartermaster's property which appears not to be needed. All such property or stores should be sent to New Orleans. It also appears that subsistence stores for the troops off La Fourche District are drawn from Brashear, thus requiring such stores to be kept on hand at an exposed post in addition to what is necessary for the garrison. The small-arm ammunition should be increased to 400 rounds per man. The present force of the enemy in the Teche country amounts, according to report, to about 1,400 effective men without artillery. Beyond occasional exchanges of shots by the pickets, everything is quiet. I cannot learn that the boats seized were other than such as are used for purposes of trade. There appears to be no evidence that they were intended for the use of the enemy in military operations.


It is under the command of Captain Washburne, and consists of Gunboat 41, two 20-pounder rifles and six 24-pounder howitzers; Gunboat 43, two 32-pounder guns and four 24-pounder howitzers; Gunboat 49, two 32-pounder guns and four 24-pounder howitzers. All these gun-boats are musket-proof, in good order, and reported well supplied with everything necessary. They draw form three feet six inches to four feet of water.

For the purpose of entering and examining narrow bayous and seizing the enemy's means of transportation in such places a narrow gunboat of light draught is needed. The naval force with this exception appears to be sufficient. It might be well to replace one of the gunboats by another having a heavier armament.


The main objects in maintaining the post of Brashear City would seem to be:

First. To hold and control the important outlet of Grand Lake and the Atchafalaya River.

Second. To occupy the post so as to prevent its being taken possession of by the enemy as a point from which to advance upon New Orleans.

Third. To hold the post with reference to possible future movements against the enemy in West Louisiana.

Fourth. To facilitate holding and controlling the La Fourche District, to which Brashear City is one of the two main entrances, and to hold the New Orleans and Opelousas Railroad.