previous next

[151] very handsomely. I left at Carrion Crow Bayou, to hold that position, three regiments of the Third division, namely, the Eleventh Indiana, Twenty-ninth Wisconsin, and Twenty-fourth Iowa, with one section of artillery. It was fortunate that I did so, for, while the fight was proceeding with General Burbridge's command, Colonel Bayler, of the First Texas mounted rifles, swept round on our left, and attacked the camp at Carrion Crow Bayou, but they were driven off with a loss of three killed; we lost none. I refer particularly to the report of General Burbridge for the names of those deserving honorable mention. On the fourth instant the enemy sent in a flag of truce, proposing to give up such of our wounded as they had, not having the means to take care of them. I sent for and received forty-seven. They refused to give up our wounded officers, among them Colonel Guppy, of the Twenty-third Wisconsin, a most gallant and meritorious officer; though wounded, I am pleased to learn that his wound is not severe, and that all our prisoners are being well treated. As to the force of the enemy engaged, opinions are conflicting; but, from the best data I have, I judge them to have been from six to seven thousand, the whole under the command of Brigadier-General Green.

Respectfully yours,

C. C. Washburn, Major-General Commanding.
Official Copy. W. H. Morgan, Major and Assistant-Adjutant-General.
Official Copy. C. A Nichols, Assistant-Adjutant-General.


Wisconsin State Journal account.

New-Orleans, La., Nov. 9, 1863.
I returned yesterday from Opelousas, and hasten to give you the details of a contest at Bayou Bourbeaux, about nine miles this side of that village, which took place on the third of November, involving, as you will see, very important results to the Twenty-third Wisconsin. My description, being largely that of my own personal hazards and experience, must be taken for what it is worth in a purely military sense, as I do not pretend to give an accurate account of movements on the field, or the reasons for them.

We reached Opelousas after dark, on the night of the thirty-first of October, stopping with Major-General Washburn, who received us with great kindness, and on the first of November, fell back with the whole army — the Thirteenth and Nineteenth corps--to Carrion Crow Bayou, about twelve miles. The brigade of Colonel Owen, (General Burbridge's old brigade,) in which were the troops I was assigned to pay, was at Bear's Landing, eleven miles in advance of Opelousas, and came in on another road, camping at Bayou Bourbeaux, three miles nearer Opelousas than the balance of the corps. Impatient to see the “boys” of the Twenty-third, I went out the same night to their camp, and was most kindly and hospitably received by officers and men. Indeed, what is the use of talking about rank or dignity when one gets among old friends and neighbors, so far from home? It was late at night before we could get through the warm greetings and answer the innumerable questions about the loved ones at home, from highest to lowest in the regiment.

On the second, was waked at four o'clock. The long-roll was beat, and the men fell into their places in line of battle. An hour after, it proved to be a picket skirmish, and the men proceeded to get their breakfasts.

The camp was on the margin of a most beautiful prairie, the right wing resting upon the woods, the left projecting about twenty rods into the prairie, with woods in the rear, and the whole fronting the north-west, or Opelousas. The prairie rose with a very gentle swell in front about three quarters of a mile, where the descent was from us. The forests here are thin lines of trees, following the windings of the bayous through the prairies, and are rarely above eighty rods through, maintaining the line with singular regularity. The trees are mainly live-oak — an evergreen, draped in the everlasting Spanish moss — and it is rare that there is any undergrowth. The prairies thus cut up or detached by the lines of trees are from three to six miles in length, and from two to four in width. They are as green and fresh as our prairies at home in mid-summer. This particular spot was called Buzzard Prairie.

About ten o'clock the long-roll again beat, and the men of the Twenty-third fell in and marched to the right of the line about a mile, and took position near a slight ravine, where they remained drawn up for some hours. I went out at twelve M. and found one of the First Louisiana cavalry had been killed and four wounded. The skirmish was over, and the forces returned to camp. As an election was to be held in the Twenty-third next day, I gave out tickets I had procured printed in New-Orleans; and Colonel Guppy had requested of General Burbridge lighter duty next day for his men, if possible, so as to allow of their voting and receiving their pay.

On the third, at two o'clock A. M., an order came to Captain Bull, chief of the pickets and outposts, to go at once to the picket-line and change the countersign, as one or two deserters had gone over to the enemy. He got back to camp about four o'clock. The long-roll again beat, and the troops fell in and stood in line until about six, when they got their breakfast. About nine o'clock the Seventeenth Ohio battery went out on the prairie and shelled the woods on the left for half an hour, about fifty rebel cavalry having shown themselves on that side. The line of battle was re-formed, and so remained until the action took place at a later hour. During all this time, and until the final clinch, we all supposed it to be a mere guerrilla annoyance, that no serious attack was contemplated — and felt quite as safe as if in the streets of Madison. The voting went on, and was nearly completed in


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

Sort places alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a place to search for it in this document.
Opelousas (Louisiana, United States) (5)
Carrion Crow Bayou (Louisiana, United States) (3)
New Orleans (Louisiana, United States) (2)
Bayou Bourbeau (Louisiana, United States) (2)
Madison (Wisconsin, United States) (1)

Visualize the most frequently mentioned Pleiades ancient places in this text.

Download Pleiades ancient places geospacial dataset for this text.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Burbridge (4)
C. C. Washburn (2)
Guppy (2)
E. K. Owen (1)
W. H. Morgan (1)
C. H. Green (1)
Bull (1)
Bayler (1)
hide Dates (automatically extracted)
Sort dates alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a date to search for it in this document.
November 9th, 1863 AD (1)
November 3rd (1)
November 1st (1)
October 31st (1)
4th (1)
3rd (1)
2nd (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: