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[76] to regard rather the comical than the lugubrious side of the question. I will, however, commence the history from the beginning, and proceed as far as the progress of events will allow me, leaving the still dubious conclusion for another edition.

Yesterday morning at three o'clock, our men were waked up for an expedition; as I have already written to you, we have had an enormous number of false alarms and bogus expeditions of late, and there being fair reason to suppose that this affair belonged to the same category, every one staid behind who could possibly find a pretext for doing so, and those who had to go turned out growling at nervous commandants in general, and at Lieutenant-Colonel Stickney, of “Bosting,” in particular. The troops were marched down to the depot, and shortly afterward we heard the train bearing them eastward. Pretty soon followed another, loaded with our rivals, the Twenty-third Connecticut. You will perhaps remember Bayou Lafourche, one of the largest in the parish, about midway between Brashear and Algiers; Thibodeau, the capital of the parish, lies three miles to the north of the railroad, on this bayou.

The first news we heard, was that a body of rebel cavalry, from two thousand to three thousand strong, had taken Thibodeau, defeating the provost-guard, (company D,) and capturing the Provost-Marshal, Captain Howe. This has been mostly confirmed. The rebels then marched upon the railroad bridge at Lafourche, where were stationed three Connecticut companies, and two or three field-pieces. It was at this time that our men were sent for from Brashear, and they arrived in time to take part in the battle fought for the possession of the bridge, which continued about all day. As soon as these telegrams were received, of course many of the officers and men who had managed to remain behind when they thought the affair was a mere sham, were anxious to join their companies, and have their share of the fun. I obtained permission to go down with them, and shouldered a musket, and strapped on accoutrements for the first time in seven or eight months. Even the drummers caught the infection, and borrowing sick men's guns, fell into the ranks. Woful was the disappointment when we found that all the available rolling stock had already been sent off, and that we could not get down. Meanwhile the wires were cut; the last news received from our operator at Lafourche being, that the fight was still progressing, and that our men were doing well. Rumors of course came in thick and fast, and all speaking of defeat and disaster.

A cautious locomotive was sent down in the afternoon on a scouting trip, and came back with the intelligence that the stronghold at Terre Bonne had fallen, and that Lieutenant Lyon was a prisoner; that the bridge at Lafourche was burnt, and our forces were on the New-Orleans side of the bayou; that the artillery there had been taken, and was on its way up to assist in the reduction of Brashear; that in consequence we were cut off from all assistance by land, and unless we could get reinforcements by water, would be compelled to evacuate the place, and skedaddle on our tug-boat. This latter, however, is not big enough to hold us all, and would probably be riddled before she reached the Gulf. So the Quartermaster's hair stood up on end, as usual, and Shelly, Beveridge and I went to packing, in case boats should come around to take us off in a hurry.

. . . . . . . .

There are one million five hundred thousand dollars' worth of United States stores in this place, consisting in rations, tents, guns, ammunition, etc. To protect them we have about a hundred and twenty available men in our two regiments, two or three hundred convalescents, a small gunboat, and two or three pieces of artillery. Most of the men are, however, sick, and all are fagged out with extra guard-duty. At Bayou Boeuf, ten or twelve miles below, we have two or three companies, and two guns.

All the regular drum-calls were beat yesterday, to give the “rebs” on the other side the idea that we still had men in camp; it was comical to see the drummers go through dress parade alone. Last night we burnt Berwick, the town opposite us, and as I was on guard all night, I had a fine opportunity of witnessing the blaze. A boat's crew from the gunboat applied the torches, exchanging volleys with some hidden rascals as they did so. There was a high wind, and the sight was magnificent. The dry frame buildings blazed like tinder, throwing up enormous piles of flame and smoke, that must have been visible in Thibodeau. The sight would probably not improve the state of rebel temper toward us. The houses have long been empty, and are by the Confiscation Act the property of Uncle Sam, so the measure was not so barbarous as the rebel papers will probably represent, although I am by no means sure that it was necessary.

Colonel Duganne is sick, and we have a live major of cavalry in command of the post, and I expect if there is a resistance to be made, he will make it.

To-day, Sunday, it has rained heavily all day, probably impeding the rebel advance, especially if they have field-pieces to drag. I have my “duds” all ready to move at a moment's notice, and have arranged a plan to blow up my twenty-eight thousand rounds cartridge and forty rifles, if the rascals succeed in gaining a foothold on the island. I will await the developments of the morrow, before continuing my letter.

Monday, June 23.
This morning we sent down a skirmishing train to investigate things. Two dirt-cars were rendered defensible by parapets of logs, and filled with about fifty sharp-shooters. I tried ha rd to get off, but had to confess I was not much of a shot, and was rejected with about fifty other aspirants to glory. “Never mind, boys,” said Major Anthony, “we will soon have work for you all.” The Major, who belongs to a cavalry regiment,

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