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I had, however, received, reliable information that the enemy's force was only two hundred infantry and no artillery. The reenforcements had taken place at a subsequent date. Our force engaged amounted to but one hundred and twelve men.

We left of killed, wounded, and missing, (exclusive of those who have just come in-among the last the gallant Capt. Thornton,) ten men at Ponchatoula.

Surgeon Avery, of the Ninth Connecticut volunteers, with his attendants, voluntarily remained with our wounded, but the former has since returned.

We brought in eleven men more or less severely wounded. One fatal case of sun-stroke occurred on board the steamer.

Our return from Ponchatoula was necessarily along the railroad, through a swamp, and on which there is no cover for troops, and it was therefore impossible to bring off those of our men who were most severely wounded, as they would be exposed for a long distance to the fire of the rebel artillery, which, with horses attached, would be brought back upon the line of the road as soon as we should have left the village.

The artillery did so return at the signal of the inhabitants; but, though actively served, did us no harm.

Surgeon Avery reports twenty of the enemy killed.

Capts. Thornton and Farrington, and the officers and men of their respective commands, though nearly exhausted by the march, two miles of which was over an open trestle-work, in the heat of the day, behaved nobly in the fight.

Captains Pickering and Winter, after a very rapid march, for which they are entitled to much credit, came up after we had left the village, covered our rear, and assisted in bringing in the wounded.

Lieuts. Martin, Allen, and Finegass, and Commander Buchanan, United States Navy, who accompanied the expedition, rendered important services, and their gallantry during the action deserves special mention.

I have the honor to be, General, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

George C. Strong, Acting General.

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John S. Thornton (2)
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