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[612] and Lieut. Coxe. These men were well equipped, had fine horses, and all armed with revolvers, carbines, many Sharpe's rifles, and double-barreled shot-guns, and such spurs! to be appreciated they must be seen. The regiment was commanded by Col. Edwin Waller, and was represented to be brave and daring. It was the most wonderful rout of the war — and not an instance of five hundred well-armed and well-mounted men so thoroughly dispersed. But little may be apprehended from them in future, as it will take them a long time to equip in so good a manner.

Capt. January is an old friend of mine, and he told me that they confidently expected to surprise and capture or kill our entire command.

Three days before this, the Twenty-first landed nine miles below this point to disperse a band of guerrillas, who fired from ambush on a company of the Ninth Vermont stationed at Algiers, going on platform-cars twenty miles to their outpost on the railroad. We landed on the right bank of the river, and proceeded a few miles west, through canebrakes, to the railroad depot. As we approached it we saw eight or ten of their mounted pickets, on whom we opened fire; but they abandoned their horses and fled into the woods and cane-brakes with so much haste that they escaped unhurt. We captured their horses and found in the depot nine of our soldiers badly wounded. This occurred the day previous, and we made them a speedy visit. The poor wounded fellows were so delighted to see us and be relieved they shed tears when they saw us. The rebels had carts ready to carry them off, no one knew where, but the prisoners were told, to hang them. We brought away the prisoners, and committed the house where they lay to the flames.

Our regiment is in fine health and spirits, and would be glad to see some one from our State, just to let them know they are not forgotten. We are all proud of our State, and proud of the exhibition of its patriotic sons in sustaining the country in its present perilous crisis. The Twenty-first will perform its part nobly and well. It is for its country, first, last, and forever; and against every man and woman whose hands are against it, and against all men who will not sustain it in its terrible trials to sustain the best Government ever framed by human mind.

Yours truly,

Ezra read, Surgeon Twenty-first Regiment Indiana Volunteers.

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