the restoration of permanent peace than is to be obtained by indicting the hearty co-operation of these freedmen, and by giving full scope to their energies as military laborers and soldiers during the continuance of the war.
Beyond this it remains for the Commission to bring to your notice a statement communicated to them by Major-General Butler, namely, that many of the Louisiana planters, while professing loyalty," had agreed together not to make any provision last autumn for another crop of sugar, hoping thereby to throw upon us this winter an immense number of blacks without employed and without any means of support for the future, the planters themselves living on what they can make from the last crop."
To what-extent this policy has been carried out, either in Louisiana or in other States, the Commission have not yet the means of judging. Up to the point at which able-bodied freedmen are needed al saborers or soldiers in the Army-say 300,000 or upward-there can be, for the present season, no difficulty arising out of any such combination among disaffected planters. Even beyond that point the evident remedy is that any surplus be employed in plantation labor. Meanwhile women and children under eighteen can be so employed, and
you the wounds that cover the bodies of 16 as brave, loyal patriotic soldiers as ever drew bead on a rebel.
"The enemy charged us so close that we frought with our bayonets hand to hand. I have six broken bayonets to show how bravely my men fought. The Twenty-third Iowa joined my company on the right, and I declare truthfully that they had all fled before our regiment fell back, as we were all compelled to do.
"Under command of Colonel Page I led the Ninth and Eleventh Louisiana when the rifle-pits were retaken and held by our troops, out regiment doing the work.
"I narrowly escaped death once. A rebel took deliberate [aim] at me with both barrels of his gun, and the bullets passed so close to me that the power that remained on them burned by cheek. Three of my men who saw him aim and fire thought that he wounded me each fire. One of them was killed by my side, and he fell on me, covering my clothes with his blood, and before the rebel could fire again I blew his brains out with my gun.
"It was a horrible fight, the worst i was ever engaged in, not even excepting Shiloh. The enemy cried, No quarters, "but some of them were very glad to take it when made prisoners.
"Colonel Allen, of the Seventeenth Texas, was killed in front of our regiment, and Brigadier-General Walker was wounded. We killed about 180 of the enemy. The gun-boat Choctaw did good service shelling them. I stood on the breast-works after we took them, and gave the elevations and direction for the gun-boat by pointing my sword, nd they sent a shell right into their midst, which sent them in all directions. There shells fell there, and 62 rebels last there when the fight was over.
"My wound is not serious, but troublesome. What few meant I have left seem to think mush of me because I stood up with them in the fight. I can say for them that I never saw a braver company of men in my life.
"Not one of them offered to leave his place unit ordered to fall back; in fact very few ever did fall back. I went down to the hospital three limes to-day to see the wounded. Nine of them were there, two having died of their wounds. A boy I had cooking for me came and begged a gun when the rebels were advancing, and took his place with the company, and when we retook the breast-works I found him badly wounded with one gunshot an two bayonet wounds. A new recruit I had issued a gun to the day before the fight was found dead with a firm grasp on his gun, the bayonet of which was broken in three pieces. So they fought and died defending the cause that we revere. They met death coolly, bravely; not rashly did they expose themselves, but all were steady and obedient to orders.
'So God has spared me again through many dangers. I cannot tell how it was I escaped.
"Your affectionate nephew,
"M. M. MILLER.""