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[297] that, after a fight of four hours duration and of great severity, the enemy were repulsed.

I regret to state that Brig.-Gen. Williams was killed on the field, by a rifle-ball through the chest.

During the battle, our forces were obliged to retire about a quarter of a mile from our original position, and the enemy were thus able to occupy temporarily the camps of the Twenty-first Indiana, Seventh Vermont, and Fourteenth Maine regiments, and to destroy much of the baggage and camp equipage. They were, however, driven out; but our numbers being much lessened by sickness, and the men on the field being much exhausted by fatigue and heat, it was deemed inexpedient to pursue.

I am unable as yet to give a report of our casualties, which, I am sorry to say, are considerable.

The enemy has retired several miles, and, from all I can learn, are still retiring. I am expecting it possible they may receive reenforcements, and am disposing my troops in the strongest positions. Our force engaged numbered less than two thousand five hundred; the enemy had at least five thousand, with twelve or fourteen field-pieces, and some cavalry.

The ram Arkansas approached with the intention of engaging our gunboats, but grounded above the point, at a distance of about six miles, and to-day was engaged by the iron-clad Essex, and destroyed.

Enclosed is a copy of a communication received by flag of truce from Major-Gen. J. C. Breckinridge, and my reply thereto. You will see by the latter that Brig.-Gen. Clarke, and his aid-decamp, have delivered themselves up as prisoners of war.

I have also fully seventy wounded prisoners, that were left on the field, also about thirty captured. I would like instructions as to the disposition you wish made of them. Some express a wish to be paroled.

Very respectfully, your obedient servant,

Thomas W. Cahill, Colonel Commanding Post. Captain R. S. Davis, Assistant Adjutant-General, Headquarters Department of the Gulf.

The following is the communication of General Breckinridge to Col. Cahill:

headquarters confederate forces in the field, near Baton Rouge, August 6, 1862.
To the Commanding Officer of the United States Forces, Baton Rouge, La.:
I have sent Major De Bauer with a flag of truce, with the request that he will be allowed to attend to the burial of our dead who may have been left within your lines. Major Haynes, accompanying, desires to communicate with Brig.-General Charles Clarke, that he may supply him with money and clothing, and such articles as may contribute to his comfort.

Respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,

John C. Breckinridge, Major-General Commanding.

Col. Cahill replied as follows:

headquarters United States forces, Baton Rouge, La., August 6, 1862.
General: In reply to your communication of this morning, under a flag of truce, I have the honor to say that we are now engaged in the burial of your dead within our lines, and that we shall soon finish the now nearly accomplished work. Gen. Clarke and his aid-de-camp, Lieut. Yerger, have surrendered themselves as prisoners of war, and are being cared for by our surgeons. A friend of Gen. Clarke, from this city, will attend to his pecuniary wants.

Respectfully, your obedient servant,

Thomas W. Cahill, Colonel Commanding. Major-General J. C. Breckinridge, Commanding Confederate Forces.

Colonel Cahill's Second report.

Baton Rouge, August 9, 1862.
To Captain R. S. Davis, A. A. General, Department of the Gulf:
sir: Being called to the command of the forces at Baton Rouge, on the occasion of the action of August fifth, by the unfortunate death of Gen. Williams, it becomes my duty to report the circumstances of the glorious victory. Rumors of the advance of the enemy in heavy force had prevailed for some days. On the afternoon of August fourth, Gen. Williams called the attention of the commandants of regiments and batteries to the probability of an attack at an early hour in the morning. The Fourteenth Maine, Col. A. Nickerson; the Twenty-first Indiana, under Lieut.-Colonel Keith; the Sixth Michigan, under Acting Lieut.-Colonel Clark, and Seventh Vermont, Col. Roberts, were encamped, the first with its right resting on the intersection of the Greenwell Springs road, and fronting on a road running to the intersection of the Bayou Sara and Clinton roads. These encampments were in heavy timber. The Twenty-first Indiana were encamped on about the same line front, and on the right of the Greenwell Springs road. On nearly the same line front, but still further to the right, at the intersection of the Clay Cut and Perkins roads, were the Sixth Michigan. The Seventh Vermont were some distance to the rear, and between the Sixth Michigan and Twenty-first Indiana, with the camp fronting the city. Everett's battery, under Lieut. Carruth, was in bivouac, on the right of the Fourteenth Maine, and on the right of the Twenty-first Indiana. Still further to the right were the guns in charge of the Twenty-first Indiana. On the extreme right, the guns of Nim's battery, under Lieut. Trull, were brought in position early in the action on the right. The Thirtieth Massachusetts, under Col. Dudley, were brought up from their quarters in the capitol on the night of the fourth, and took position on the left of the Sixth Michigan. On the extreme left, in advance of the left bank of the Bayou Gap, with an oblique front towards the intersection of the Bayou Sara and Clinton roads, with two pieces of Manning's battery, were the Ninth Connecticut and Fourth Wisconsin. The

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