No. 93. Report of Lieutenant Colonel Algernon S. Badger, First Louisiana Cavalry, of operations March 25.
HEADQUARTERS FIRST LOUISIANA CAVALRY,
In the Field, near Escambia River, Fla., March 26, 1865.
SIR: I have the honor to forward the following report of the engagement of the 25th instant:
My advance, Captain Freeman's company (B), came upon the vedettes of the enemy near Cotton Creek. Four of these men were captured. From them the information was elicited that Clanton's (rebel) brigade, consisting of the Sixth and Eighth Alabama Cavalry, was in the vicinity. At Cotton Creek the enemy, about 100 strong, and posted behind a breast-works, disputed the crossing. I caused three companies of my command to dismount and advance over the creek. The enemy immediately retired. I pushed forward to Mitchell's Creek. The enemy had fired the bridge and otherwise obstructed the crossing, but contrary to my expectations made a feeble resistance at this point. The fire was speedily extinguished and the bridge repaired. I received instructions from General Lucas to advance with my regiment and a battalion of the Second New York Cavalry, under Major Van Voast, as rapidly as possible, and engage the enemy, if I deemed it expedient. About 11 a.m. my advance, under Captain Freeman, came upon the enemy strongly on the north bank of Canoe Creek. The force consisted of Clanton's brigade, about 600 strong, dismounted and formed in line of battle, commanded by General Clanton in person. Major Ives, with Lieutentant Russell's company (A), proceeded to the right flank. I ordered Captain Freeman to charge across the creek and up the opposite bank, and followed with the remainder of my command. It required a few minutes' time to close up and form the First Louisiana Cavalry in order to charge. At this time the enemy's fire was very heavy. Without waiting for the battalion of the Second New York Cavalry to cross I ordered the First Louisiana to charge. Major Ives at this moment appeared on the right. The regiment swept down upon the enemy, breaking their line instantly. The charge continued about four miles, prisoners being secured all the time. The pursuit continued seven miles, to the Escambia River, where the bridges having been destroyed by the retreating rebels prevented farther pursuit. The victory was complete. The enemy was demoralized to such a degree that arms, clothing, and in fact everything that could impede their flight was thrown away, and scattered along the road and through the woods. The following are some of the results of the affair. Brigadier-General Clanton, commanding, wounded and a prisoner; 18 commissioned officers and 11 enlisted men prisoners. A battle-flag of the enemy was captured by Private Thomas Riley, Company D, First Louisiana Cavalry. A large number of horses, mules, arms, &c., were passed and left on the field by my command and subsequently picked up by other commands. The casualties in my command were Lieutenant Alfred Shaffer, commanding Company C, First Louisiana Cavalry, killed; Lieutenant Asa O. Daniels, wounded severely. Two enlisted men were killed, 2 enlisted men were wounded, 26 horses lost. The number of the enemy's killed and wounded I am unable to furnish. I deem it justice to pay a tribute to Lieutentant Shaffer, who was killed at the extreme advance. He was a brave and efficient officer. The regiment can ill afford to lose him. Also Lieutentant Daniels, who continued fighting after being