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[554] in giving the enemy what they had given us — that is, a whipping. He recaptured sixteen pieces of artillery, but was not able to take them off the field, but destroyed them. He also captured some five hundred prisoners and some of our wagons back, and as I write, fell back to this point, where we will prepare again to meet the enemy, if he should think of following, which I don't think he will; but while writing this, I hear cannonading, and who knows what may come? I will not predict, however. Now let me say I think — and we all think — we might just as well had a victory as a defeat, and, if I mistake not, some high official will get beheaded. I most sincerely hope so. I am opposed to incompetency in any place, more particularly here in the army. General Smith fought his own men and won a victory, and had General Ransom had the same privilege, we would not have been whipped. Of one thing I am certain, our few remaining boys will fight no more under such commanders. I, for one, do not blame them. I may be severe, but can you blame me when I see it is sacrifice after sacrifice? We were always victorious until we came here, and would be so here if we had a Grant to lead us, yes, or a McClernand, who is buried at Pass Cavallo because he ranks Franklin, and the noble, brave, and generous Ransom is sacrificed. May he ventilate this as he well knows how. I think he will, I hope he will report. I send you the inclosed list of killed, wounded, and missing of four companies of the Seventy-seventh Illinois, companies D, C, H, and B. I could fill sheets with incidents of this battle; some would cause mirth, some,tears, all would nerve the hearts of the brave to do battle for their brothers and their country. Many of those reported among the missing will certainly be numbered with the dead and wounded. May I never see the like again!


New-Orleans Era account.

New-Orleans, April 15.
We are enabled to lay before our readers this morning a full and connected history of the recent great battles and Union victory in Western Louisiana, and one which can be relied upon as truthful. The fighting was terrific, and the casualties very great, but there can be little doubt that the blow has terribly impaired, if not destroyed, the rebel power in this State. It is possible, and even probable, that another engagement will be fought, as we learn, on good authority, that General Banks expressed the intention of giving battle once more as soon as opportunity offered. We gain the subjoined account from eye-witnesses and participants.

Our army broke camp at Natchitoches on the morning of the sixth instant, and marched out on the Shreveport road; the cavalry advancing twenty-one miles and resting for the night at Crump's Hill, the infantry halting three or four miles to the rear, on the banks of a bayou. On the following morning, at daybreak, the cavalry again started, and came upon a body of mounted rebels before they had marched two miles. Fighting began at once, and the enemy were rapidly driven before our troops. This running style of fight was kept up for fourteen miles, until they had got two miles beyond Pleasant Hill.

Here a force of two thousand five hundred rebel cavalry, commanded by General Green, were found strongly posted on Wilson's plantation. The rebels were deployed along the edge of a dense strip of woods with an open field in front, over which we had to charge in order to reach them. The only Union soldiers that had advanced far enough to take part in the fight, which was inevitable, was the cavalry brigade of Lee's corps, commanded by Colonel Harai Robinson. As he had either to attack or be attacked, he decided to take the initiative, and he led his men in with such a dash and vigor, that at last the enemy was completely whipped and driven from the field. This engagement lasted two hours and a half, and our losses amounted to about forty killed and wounded, the enemy's being at least as many. Colonel Robinson pursued the retreating rebels as far as Bayou du Paul, where he found they had received heavy reinforcements, including four pieces of artillery, and were again in line of battle, waiting attack. As it was nearly dark, and the risk was too great in attacking again with his small force, he placed his men in the most advantageous position available, and awaited the progress of events. Nothing further was accomplished on the first day.

During the night, a brigade of infantry, commanded by Colonel Landrum, came up, and early in the morning of the following day, (Friday, the eighth,) the march was resumed. The rebels were found to be on the alert, and ready for the fray, and fighting opened almost at once.

The disposition of our forces at the beginning of this day's battle was: Colonel Landrum's infantry brigade on the right of the Shreveport road, and Colonel Lucas's cavalry brigade on the left. The skirmishing was fierce, and every foot of ground won from the enemy had to be taken by hard knocks, but at two o'clock in the afternoon, our forces had compelled the rebels to retreat seven miles. Our losses, as well as the enemy's, were very severe during this time. Lieutenant Colonel Webb, of the Seventy-seventh Illinois, shot through the head and instantly killed; and Captain Breese, commanding Sixth Missouri cavalry, severely wounded in the arm, being among the casualties on our side.

The enemy were now met in strong force, under command of General Kirby Smith. That Generals Dick Taylor, Mouton, Green, and Price were also there, was afterward ascertained from prisoners, who also stated that they had under them from eighteen thousand to twenty thousand men, while our force, comparatively, were a mere handful The rebels occupied a strong position in the vicinity of Sabine Cross-Roads, concealed in the edge of a dense wood, with an open field in front, the Shreveport road passing through their lines. General Ransom arriving on the field with his command, formed his line as well


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