Doc. 167.-operations on Bayou Teche, La.
Colonel Gooding's report.
headquarters Third brigade, Third division, Opelousas, La., April 21, 1863.sir: I have the honor to report that in accordance with orders from General Emory, on the twelfth instant my brigade, excepting the One Hundred and Seventy-fifth New-York volunteers, marched with our army from Pattersonville toward the enemy's works on Bayou Teche, some four or five miles distant, the One Hundred and Fifty-sixth New-York volunteers, Lieut.-Colonel Sharpe, following the line of the railroad. A short distance from Pattersonville, pursuant to orders from General Emory, I sent the Fifty-third Massachusetts volunteers, Colonel Kimball, to reenforce Colonel Ingraham's brigade. A short time subsequent I sent the Thirty-first Massachusetts volunteers, Lieut.-Colonel Hopkins, to the left bank of the Bayou Teche to reenforce the One Hundred and Seventy-fifth New-York volunteers, Colonel Bryan, who was skirmishing with the enemy's pickets on that bank of the bayou. The Fifty-third Massachusetts volunteers and the One Hundred and Fifty-sixth New-York volunteers afterward rejoined the brigade. On arriving in front of the enemy's works an artillery duel ensued. Seeing that my brigade was exposed to the shot and shells of the enemy, I marched it two or three hundred yards to the rear, and caused the men to lie down. In the mean time the One Hundred and Seventy-fifth New-York volunteers, supported by the Thirty-first Massachusetts volunteers, carried on a brisk skirmish with the enemy on the left bank of the bayou, gallantly driving him before them. On the morning of the thirteenth I was ordered to take my best regiment and proceed to the left bank of the Bayou Teche, assume command of all the forces, and hold at all hazards the pontoon-bridge  which had been thrown across the bayou, which I did. I had been there but a short time when I received an order from General Emory to attack a light battery of the enemy, which was throwing grape into General Paine's brigade, on the opposite shore of the bayou, and which was supposed to be in position outside of the enemy's works, on the left bank of the bayou, just above a sugar-house, but was ordered not to storm the enemy's works. I made my dispositions for the attack, advanced my skirmishers beyond the sugar-house, in plain view of the works, and discovered that there was no light battery outside the same. The Thirty-first Massachusetts volunteers composed my line of skirmishers, supported by the Thirty-eighth Massachusetts volunteers, Lieut.-Colonel Rodman. The advance of my skirmishers was hotly contested by the enemy, who was driven before them. A skirmish fight on the right of my line, in and near the woods, was kept up till about half-past 2 P. M. The ammunition of the Thirty-first Massachusetts being expended, it was relieved by the Thirty-eighth. At this time I was reenforced by the Fifty-third Massachusetts volunteers, and the One Hundred and Fifty-sixth New-York volunteers, and the remaining two sections of the First Maine battery. In accordance with orders from Generals Banks and Emory, I made my dispositions and immediately moved on the enemy's works. My dispositions were as follows: Thirty-eighth Massachusetts volunteers in advance, deployed as skirmishers. Fifty-third Massachusetts volunteers about one hundred and fifty yards in rear of the Thirty-eighth, and deployed as skirmishers. Two sections of the First Maine battery, under command of Lieutenants Haley and Morton, on parallel plantation roads leading to the enemy's works, and immediately in rear of the second line of skirmishers, the remaining section in reserve. One Hundred and Seventy-fifth New-York volunteers in reserve immediately to the left and rear of the left section of the battery. Thirty-first Massachusetts volunteers immediately to the right and rear of the right section of the battery. One Hundred and Fifty-sixth New-York volunteers in the woods on the extreme right, having been sent to turn the enemy's left flank. Detachments of cavalry posted in reserve some distance in rear of my right. These dispositions being made, at a quarter-past three P. M., I ordered an advance of the whole. My advance was met by a brisk fire from the artillery and musketry of the enemy, who was driven into his works about five P. M.; the ammunition of the Thirty-eighth Massachusetts having been expended, it was relieved by the Fifty-third Massachusetts volunteers. At about the same time, having learned that the One Hundred and Fifty-sixth New-York volunteers had a superior force to contend with on the right, I ordered the Thirty-first Massachusetts to go to its support. The Thirty-first having arrived to its support, a short time afterward, the One Hundred and Fifty-sixth New-York volunteers, Lieut.-Colonel Sharpe, supported by the Thirty-first Massachusetts, under command of Lieut.-Colonel Hopkins, charged and carried a breastwork of the enemy in the woods in front of our right, killing many of the enemy and capturing eighty-six prisoners, among whom are two lieutenants, one of the Seventh Texas cavalry, and one of the Eighteenth Louisiana infantry. The fight was continued in front by the Fifty-third Massachusetts volunteers and the artillery, and by the Thirty-first Massachusetts and One Hundred and Fifty-sixth New-York in the woods on the right, until darkness put a close to it; the troops having advanced to within two hundred yards of the enemy's works, which line they held notwithstanding repeated efforts of the enemy to drive them back. This line was held during the night. In my judgment, two hours more of daylight would have enabled me to turn the enemy's left flank and witnessed the triumphant entry of my troops into his works. At half-past 5 A. M., of the fourteenth, the Fifty-third Massachusetts volunteers, commanded by Colonel Kimball, entered the enemy's works, and at the same time company D, of the Thirty-first Massachusetts volunteers, under the command of Captain W. J. Allen, who had deployed his company as skirmishers in the woods, entered the fort on the extreme left of the enemy's position, it having been evacuated by the enemy during the night. The loss in my brigade during the entire engagement was fifteen (15) killed and fifty-seven (57) wounded. Among the killed were the gallant Captain Gault, Thirty-eighth Massachusetts volunteers, and Lieutenants Nutting and Frees of the Fifty-third Massachusetts and One Hundred and Fifty-fourth New-York volunteers, who lost their lives while nobly battling for their country. About one hundred and thirty prisoners were captured, one hundred and fifty stands of arms, and thirty cavalry horses, with all their equipments. Lieut.-Colonel Rodman, Thirty-eighth Massachusetts volunteers, mentions a case of marked coolness and bravery on the part of private Patrick Smith company, D, Thirty-eighth Massachusetts volunteers, who, coming suddenly upon three rebels, shot one of them and compelled the other two to surrender, bringing them both in as prisoners. My entire command, officers and men, behaved with marked coolness and courage throughout the entire engagement, proving themselves true men and brave soldiers. I have to speak in the highest praise of all the members of my staff, who were necessarily  mounted and under fire during the entire engagement. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
New-York Herald narrative.
New-Orleans, April 19, 1863.The boasted spot of Southern rural grandeur--“The country of the Attakapas,” “The garden of Louisiana,” “The paradise of the South” --is ours. From Berwick City to Opelousas the victorious army of General Banks has advanced. Three battles, three gunboats and three transports the enemy have lost in three days. Twice were they defeated by the main army of General Banks behind their intrenchments on the Beasland plantation, between Pattersonville and Centreville, as the straggling tire and final silence of their guns in the face of our batteries on Sunday and Monday fully proved, while Grover at the same time was reaching their rear, harassing, engaging and finally driving them before him with such rapidity that they were compelled to make a stand on Monday at Irish Bend, where a sharp and decisive battle was fought, in which the rebels were defeated and fled into the woods. Three gunboats — the Diana, Hart, and Queen of the West--are no more. The two former were fired in the Teche by the rebels, to prevent them falling into our hands — the former on Monday, the latter on Tuesday--while the Union gunboats Estella, Calhoun, and Arizona, at ten o'clock on Tuesday morning, discovered, attacked and destroyed in Grand Lake the famous iron-clad ram Queen of the West. Three large transports — the Newsboy, Gossamer, and Era No. 2--which were lying at Franklin, were also destroyed by fire, as it was found impossible to get up steam and escape up or down the Teche before our troops would overtake and seize them. The consequence was that, like the Diana and Hart, they were burned to prevent them from falling into our hands. The last accounts state that our forces are still following up the retreating, demoralized, and panic-stricken remnant of an army of eight thousand men, which a week ago were guarding the gate of this paradise, hourly expecting reenforcements and an immediate advance of the army and navy, when a sudden, combined and overwhelming dash upon Brashear City and New-Orleans should be made. The commands of Generals Emory and Weitzel on Thursday and Friday arrived at Berwick City. General Banks and staff, who had been encamped for some days alongside the railroad, to the right, about a quarter of a mile from the dock at Brashear, embarked on board the Laurel Hill on Saturday afternoon, the eleventh instant, at twenty minutes to two P. M., landing at Berwick, (across the bay, about half a mile distant,) remaining there about two hours, when they started for the front. On landing at Berwick City the brigade of General Weitzel proceeded to the outskirts, ahead, and to the right. A strong infantry and cavalry force was thrown out as pickets, and the artillery posted in position commanding the roads and woods. The enemy from the first was very bold, and appeared determined to harass our force as much as possible, contesting our apparent advance with vigor, approaching to within a short distance of our pickets, showing themselves and firing their pieces. The following day a reconnaissance was made by Captain Hubbard, of General Weitzel's staff. He was accompanied by the cavalry companies of