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[77] is a good fellow, and we have great confidence in him.

We sent our train off with a “God speed,” with instructions to go as far as they could, and investigate statu quo. They got through to Terre Bonne without mishap, and were there hospitably welcomed by the two guns which once belonged to that miserable stockade. The twenty-four pounders whistled about the locomotive, and as our boys were not prepared to resist artillery, they were obliged to put back. They described Terre Bonne as well garrisoned by the rebels, but as to the state of the road beyond, or what has become of our reginent at Lafourche, they can of course say nothing.

One thing is evident — that we are isolated, blocked in, and that unless we can get a seaworthy boat from New-Orleans, we must either fight our way through, starve, or surrender.

This afternoon, having nothing better to do, we took a tug, and to the number of fifteen, plus half a dozen negroes, started down the bay to look for rebels and molasses. The former were not to be seen, but we obtained eight or ten casks of half-boiled syrup from a deserted sugar-house. We had got the stuff about half on board when an alarm was raised from the upper deck, that the rebels were advancing through the woods, and I was ordered to take five or six men and see if the rascals really were there. So I deployed my little force as skirmishers, and we advanced across the clearing as fast as the swampy ground and tall grass would permit, expecting every moment to be fired at from the woods. Nothing was found, however, but the glistening edges of the palmetto leaves, which the boat's captain had mistaken for bayonets, so we loaded our syrup, and steamed back to port, covered with glory and mud.

In the sugar-house, a dirty, dilapidated old shed, a poor family had taken shelter when Berwick was first shelled, and had night before last seen their home there burnt to ashes. There was a mother, down with the fever, two very pretty girls between sixteen and twenty, four or five little ones, and a sickly-looking father, with no work and no money. They were, according to their own account, good unionists, and had suffered at the hands of the “rebs” in consequence, and now were losing their last remaining property by the hands of the Federals. The husband had done some work for the United States, but had, as usual, received no pay, for you must know it is the very hardest thing in the world to get pay from the Government for stray jobs. The quartermasters are supposed to discharge such bills, but are seldom provided with funds for the purpose, so that the poor applicant may wait and want a long time before he gets his due. Persecuted and hunted like dogs by the rebels, suspected, worried, and cheated by the Federals, and plundered by both sides and the darkeys, the fate of the Union men of the South is not one to be envied.

I am writing down this account of the occurrences of each day, rather because, every thing being packed, and the regiment absent, I have nothing else to do, than in the thought that such details can be of much interest to you, however important they may be to me. The grand denouement is what you will want to hear, and that I may be able to give you in to-morrow's journal. Good night.

July 1, 1863.
. . . . . . . .

Although we had a week of suspense and anticipation, the shock was still a great one. The Ironsides regiment is no more; its officers are killed and captured, its men cut to pieces and prisoners on parole. The post given us to hold is in the hands of the rebels, and the lone star of Texas floats over the road from Brashear almost to Algiers.

I write in durance vile, and in considerable doubt whether my letter will ever reach its destination. I will now attempt to relate how the above unfortunate state of affairs was brought about.

We were awakened at dawn on the morning of the twenty-third by the screeching of shells, and the whistling of Minie balls, and soon found that our camp and town was being bombarded from the other side. There was naturally considerable excitement at this discovery, an excitement differing somewhat from that which you had an opportunity of witnessing, for I assure you there is a great difference between being shelled and shelling. The two guns that yet remained to us had been placed in position down the railroad, as we expected the attack from the direction of Terre Bonne, but they were speedily brought back and brought into action, and our men in camp, taking advantage of trees, little embankments, corners of houses, etc., for shelter, commenced using their muskets with considerable effect. By the united efforts of our artillery and infantry, after a sharp interchange of fire of a couple of hours, the rebels were fairly driven from their guns, with a loss, by their own admission, of from ten to fifteen men, while we had lost but one.

I fired two or three shots, but am ignorant whether or not I am guilty of manslaughter. I was principally exercised to get my ammunition into a place of safety, for if a shell had struck it, the results might have been most disastrous.

Almost all our darkeys had fled on the mules when the first shot was fired, and I could get hold of but one team, and would you believe it, . . . but I managed to stow the official papers into the cart, and off he rode, and I didn't see him for a day or two, till he was brought back a prisoner.

Our men were still drawn up in a straggling line along the shore answering the rebel musketry, when shot were suddenly poured in upon us from behind, and from the orange grove on the left, while the firing from the other shore redoubled in vigor.

Our men thus hemmed in between three fires, naturally broke and fell into disorder, which moment the Texas improved by charging with the

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