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[78] bayonet, yelling and whooping at .the tops of their voices as they did so. Captain Thomason, the only officer excepting our sick Colonel left in camp, succeeded in forming a line in front of the Twenty-third Connecticut camp along the road, but after delivering two or three volleys, it was found impossible to stand under the concentrated fire, and then it was sauve qui peut. The cooler heads retired slowly, stopping behind each tree to deliver a shot at the advancing enemy, and loading as they ran. One little squad, commanded by a corporal of the One Hundred and Fourteenth, especially distinguished themselves by the steadiness with which they retreated, delivering their fire in two directions at once. A large portion, however, rushed pellmell down the road to the depot, offering as they passed a fair mark both to the guns from the other side, and to the rebels already occupying a parallel road but a few hundred feet distant.

Our Colonel, nerved to exertion by the exigency of the moment, managed to mount his horse, and calling to those nearest to follow him, started for the depot, intending to make a stand there, or if that were impossible, to run a locomotive through to Bayou Boeuf, and escape with the men there on the gunboat. His strength was not equal to his will, however; he fainted and fell from his horse on reaching the hospital, after passing through a perfect hailstorm of bullets unharmed. As soon as I heard the shouts behind us, I concluded we were lost, and tried with Shelly to get the ammunition into the bay.

But the boxes were heavy, and there were too many of them, and we could get no help, so after moving a couple we gave it up. I then piled up some straw, and set fire to the building, and seeing the Colonel start off, took my gun and followed, when he fell, struck as I thought by a bullet. Seeing that all was lost, and finding it impossible to reach the depot, as we were being fired upon from there by our own men, I turned into the camp of the Fourth Massachusetts, and surrendered myself to the first halfdozen of ragged rascals who ran up.

The prisoners were marched back to our camp as they were picked up, and I was provoked to find that my fire had blazed out, and the small stores and cartridges were still unharmed. Perhaps the most gallant stand of the day was made by a portion of the provost-guard defending our twenty-four pounder. Out of the five defenders, four, including the Lieutenant (L. W., Stephenson) and the Sergeant (Deming) were shot down; it is hoped all will recover. Captain Cutter, who, on account of illness had his quarters in the village, came out on hearing the tumult, and on being told to deliver up his sword, replied, “I never surrender,” and fell immediately, shot through the head.

He was one of the best men among our officers, a gentleman, a scholar, and a soldier, and his loss is much deplored by all who knew him.

We lost from the portion of our regiment here, five or six killed, and fifteen or eighteen wounded; from the whole post about fifty killed and wounded. The larger part of this loss occurred in the convalescent camp, as it was on that side that the attack was made; and although the men there were partly unarmed, had no officers, were all more or less sick, and made no resistance, they were for the first few moments shot down without mercy, from a misapprehension on the part of the rebels as to the nature of the camp.

Our regiment and the remnant of the One Hundred and Fourteenth were the only ones which did any fighting at all, the Twenty-Third Connecticut and the Fourth Massachusetts succumbing almost immediately.

After the town had been captured, the fort of course could make no resistance, as it has no defences on the land side; and the guns, being mounted en barbette, could not be turned against the assailing party. It was surrendered unconditionally. After the prisoners had been collected in our camp, we were marched up to the fort, and huddled up within the narrow precincts of the camp there. They numbered in all about one thousand two hundred, of whom full eight hundred were sick. Our own regiment lost about two hundred. Our captors were the most ragged, dirty-looking set of rascals I had ever seen. There was plenty of pluck and spirit among them, but a great want of order and discipline. The only thing uniform about them was dirt-shirts, pants, and skin being all of a fine mud color. They all carried pistols and dirks, but while the greater number had Enfields, the rest were armed with carbines and buck-shot guns. The officers had little or nothing to distinguish them from the privates, though sometimes a suit of gray made its appearance. There appeared, however, to be a great abundance of them, as every third man was addressed as captain or lieutenant, and at least every tenth as major or colonel. They formed the advanced-guard of a force of four brigades, ten thousand men, under General Moerton, which occupied a couple of days in coming up and crossing. There was a very large proportion of cavalry, for as one of the men said to me: “Texans won't walk.” They were on the whole, a good-natured, jolly set of country boys, many of them only just entered into the service, and they treated us with considerable kindness and humanity, although our fare was for some days four hard tacks per diem, and our beds the bare ground. However, they gave us what they had, and enjoyed little better quarters themselves.

The party which had attacked us behind had passed over Flat Lake in scows and small boats, and lay concealed in the swamp in the rear of the camps a day or two, until they heard their guns open upon us from the other side. They were to have made the attack at four in the morning, in which case the carnage would have been much greater. As it was, our surprise was complete, for the swamps had been pronounced by our engineers to be impassable, (and so I


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