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[337] bullets of our sharp-shooters. His prisoners captured in the Port (the sick and wounded inclusive) were 6,408, of whom 455 were officers; while his own force that day was less than 10,000 men. His captures, during the campaign so gloriously terminated, he states at 10,584 men, 73 guns, 6,000 small arms, beside 3 gunboats, 8 other steamboats, and cotton, cattle, &c., &c., to an immense value.

Gen. Banks's sudden withdrawal from Alexandria and the Red river, and the employment of nearly all his disposable force in the siege of Port Hudson, necessarily proffered opportunities which Dick Taylor was on the alert to improve. Collecting in Upper Louisiana a force of some thousands, including several regiments, mainly of cavalry, from Texas, he, early in June, reoccupied Alexandria and Opelousas; moving thence rapidly down the Atchafalaya, as if making directly for New Orleans. His approach appeared to have been made known to our officers at the front only by vague rumors, often circulated on purpose to mislead; but our advanced posts were drawn back across the Atchafalaya to Brashear ; Berwick, just across the bayou, having been needlessly, therefore culpably, bombarded and ultimately burned1 by a Mr. Ryder, in command of our only gunboat in the bayou. There was abundance of fuss and aimless activity, but no real preparation at Brashear, whither Lt.-Col. Stickney had been recently sent over by Gen. Emory, at New Orleans, to take command: there were no intrenchments, though thousands of willing contrabands were there to dig them; no mustering and drilling of the hundreds of idle convalescents in the hospital camps, awaiting orders to rejoin their regiments; and when at length word came that the Rebels had struck our line of communication and supply at Lafourche, well toward New Orleans, Stickney hurried down, with most of his effectives, to its defense. The enemy easily swept over Thibodeaux, Terre Bonne, and Bayou Boeuf, capturing our few men stationed at each post; while a cooperating force, under Gens. Mouton and Green, suddenly appeared2 amid the ruins of Berwick, threatening Brashear, which was held by a sick Colonel and a motley garrison, without organization or discipline; who had hardly begun to fight when a charge was made on their rear by Major Hunter, with 325 Texans, who had crossed the bayou in row-boats during the preceding night, and working their way through swamps which were on our side supposed impassable, were ready to rush in at the opportune moment, while Col. Majors, from the direction of Lafourche, barred all egress to or reenforcement from our rear. Fort Buchanan, mounting ten heavy guns, was formidable in front or toward the bayou only: it could not fire a slot eastward; and, in a few minutes, it was stormed and carried by the ragged Texans, who had easily disposed of the infantry mob behind it. Ryder, with his gunboat, made all haste to run away; affording a fresh proof that Vandals are almost always cowards. It was still early morning when Taylor, Mouton, and Green, as well as Hunter, were in Brashear,

1 June 19.

2 June 22.

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