troops composing the right wing to take up a more desirable position out of the woods, near the Penitentiary grounds. Respectfully submitted to the Colonel Commanding Army of Baton Rouge, La.
Lieutenant Weitzel's report.
headquarters, Baton Rouge, August 7, 1862.General: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your favor of yesterday. Your troops at this place have won a glorious victory. I do not consider that there is the least danger of an attack for the present, because one of the several reconnoitring parties sent out this morning, and which has returned, reports five abandoned caissons on the Greenwell Springs road. We have sent out to bring them in. This indicates a hasty retreat on the part of the enemy. Our forces could not pursue. One half of the men who left the hospitals to fight, could not march a mile. The conduct of these men was magnificently glorious. The attack was undoubtedly made upon representations of rebels within our lines, that our troops were nearly all sick and demoralized, and Gen. Breckinridge undoubtedly expected, in conjunction with the ram Arkansas, to make a successful dash. It was a complete failure. The ram is blown up; their troops were repulsed. Gen. Williams disposed his forces as follows, namely: The Fourth Wisconsin on the extreme left on the right bank of Bayou Gross, with two pieces of Manning's battery in the arsenal grounds on the left bank of Bayou Gross, to sweep the grounds, on the left of the Wisconsin Fourth; the Ninth Connecticut was posted on the right of the Fourth Wisconsin, with two pieces in rear of centre, and two pieces in rear of the right. All of these pieces were of Manning's battery, and were posted on either side of the knoll in the Government cemetery. Next came the Fourteenth Maine, posted in rear of the Bayou Sara road, and to the left of Greenwell Springs road. Next came the Twenty-first Indiana, posted in the woods in rear of Magnolia cemetery, with four pieces of Everett's battery (under the command of Lieutenant Carruth) on their left on the Greenwell Springs road. The Indiana battery of two pieces came up to the support of these pieces after the battle commenced. Next came the Sixth Michigan, posted across the country-road, on the right of the Magnolia cemetery, and across the Clay Cut road, their left supporting two pieces of Everett's battery, posted on the road, on the right of the Magnolia cemetery. The Seventh Vermont was posted in rear of the Twenty-first Indiana and Sixth Michigan, on the right of the Catholic cemetery. The Thirtieth Massachusetts came next, forming the right, and posted about half a mile in rear of the State House, supporting Nim's battery. This disposition of the forces was made with the supposition that the enemy would attack our left flank, under the cover of the ram Arkansas. The right flank depended upon gunboat support. The only fault of disposition — perhaps rendered unavoidable by the formations of the ground — was, that the camps of the Fourteenth Maine and Twenty-first Indiana were pitched in front of their position, in line of battle, and consequently came into the possession of the enemy for a short time. The enemy formed line of battle on the open grounds, bordering on the Greenwell Springs road, and attempted to draw our forces out. Failing in this, they advanced rapidly on the ground between the Clinton and Clay Cut roads. The whole brunt of the attack, consequently, fell upon the Fourteenth Maine, Twenty--first Indiana and Sixth Michigan. As soon as it became apparent that this was the real point of attack, Gen. Williams ordered up the Ninth Connecticut, Fourth Wisconsin, and one section of Manning's battery, to support the left, and the Thirtieth Massachusetts, and two sections of Nim's battery, to support the right. You will, therefore, see that the disposition (with the slight exception hinted at) and the manoeuvring were faultless. The conduct of our troops was excellent. The Twenty-first Indiana particularly distinguished itself. I saw a number of the dead of the enemy to-day in front of the ground they occupied; but not content with the check they gave the enemy, this regiment pursued him quite a distance, strewing the ground with his dead. The brave Gen. Williams fell in front of the Sixth Michigan, toward the end of the conflict, while giving his men a noble example of reckless and daring bravery. He was killed by a rifleball in the chest. The enemy's force consisted of two Louisiana regiments, (the Fourth and Thirtieth,) two Mississippi, the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Kentucky, two Tennessee, one Alabama regiment and thirteen guns, and a large guerrilla force. Their attacking force numbered fully six thousand men. Our actual force engaged was not over two thousand. Three companies of the Sixth Michigan covered themselves with glory in recovering, from a large force, two guns posted on the right of the Magnolia cemetery, which temporarily were left by our forces. These same three companies captured the colors of the Fourth Louisiana, but only after they had shot down four successive color-bearers. The exact loss on our side is not yet reported. But certain it is, that it is much less than that of the enemy. I am, sir, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,