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[221] which he was driven. It was for this reason that after a sharp conflict of thirty minutes, and having won the position, we were forced to abandon it. And this accounts, too, for the extraordinary loss we sustained, and for the fact that nearly all our wounded and killed were left on the field. Under my own observation several parties bearing off wounded were shot down as soon as they entered the open field. Many, therefore, of those put down as missing, were killed or wounded in this affair. Out of twenty-eight officers who went into the fight, fourteen were wounded, and most of them severely, and as the event may prove, I fear, mortally. This was in the Thirteenth Louisiana volunteers, Major Charles Guillet, of whose conduct I cannot speak in terms too high. The regiment behaved throughout like veterans. Captains Ryan, Lipscomb, King, Bishop, and McGrath, and Lieut. Levy displayed distinguished steadiness and courage. The loss of this regiment was, in two short actions, lasting both together not more than an hour, say nineteen officers and three hundred and thirty-two men killed, wounded, and missing-losing as many as some brigades.

Major Zacharie's position enabled him to drive in the skirmishers of the enemy and to hold him in check in front of our batteries for some time. After entering the woods the fire of our own batteries, together with that of the enemy just opposite, and the immediate development of infantry in heavy force along the opposite bank below him, prevented any orders of mine from reaching him or his joining us. He moved up the river, recrossed and joined the reserve. I assembled the whole command on this line and held our position until our battery was secured and we moved, in obedience to orders, on the right of Brigadier-General Preston's brigade.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant, R. L. Gibson, Colonel Commanding.

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