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.
'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
; 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
, 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
, 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.
, 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
, and Green
, as well as Hunter
, were in Brashear