ordered to keep back and await his return, while General Banks rode toward General Emory with only one of his staff. About five o'clock the Commanding General took a last look at the Diana. He had just passed a large white sugar-house on the left-hand side of the road, about six hundred yards from the battery, when a shot from the thirty-two pounder smooth-bore struck the roof of the building. A section of Captain Bradbury's battery was sent to guard the pontoon-bridge which had been thrown across the Teche, while the other, as I have before stated, crossed the river, with two of Colonel Gooding's regiments. While the artillery was at work the infantry was not idle. The brigades in the advance line of battle were Paine's, to the right, and Weitzel's, on the left — the former reaching to the Teche, and the latter resting on the woods. Skirmishers were thrown out all along the front, and the whole carefully advanced. At half-past 4 o'clock there was a reconnoissance by the Generals commanding, and an attempt made to ascertain the position of the enemy's batteries, the appearance of the earth-works, distant from our lines about three quarters of a mile, being so similar in color to the standing cane-fields, that it was found impossible to distinguish them or see the position of the guns. Our batteries were opened, the lines advanced, and skirmishers deployed for the purpose of drawing their fire. There was considerable firing along the whole lines, and along the edge of the woods there was a sharp musketry engagement for some time, the enemy coming out of his intrenchments to attack us. They were, however, driven back with loss. About five o'clock our skirmishers advanced near enough to draw the fire of all their batteries. On the side of the Teche on which we were, they had fourteen or fifteen guns. On the other side of the bayou the enemy's force was unknown. The firing ceased with the darkness, and it being found that both the lines of battle were within range of the enemy's guns, an order was given that the advance should retire out of the range of light artillery, and bivouac for the night, taking position in two lines, the brigade of Gen. Paine forming the right half of each line and General Weitzel's the left half. General Paine's command had scarcely obeyed this order, (his right resting on the road,) when General Emory ordered the Fourth Wisconsin, Colonel Bean, to be thrown forward to hold the woods and sugar-house on the right of the main road, as the enemy's defences and principal guns were masked by them. This position was contested with spirit all night. The pickets were firing and skirmishing among the trees and buildings during the whole of the time; but the ground was firmly and gallantly held by the Fourth Wisconsin, with but small loss on our side. Lieutenant-Colonel Dean had his horse shot from under him during the engagement. About one o'clock on Tuesday morning, Col. Bean sent a communication to General Paine, stating that under cover of the fog and darkness the enemy had been busily at work near their picket-line all night, hammering and chopping, leading him to believe that they were planting batteries, or preparing in some manner to give us a warm reception in the morning. General Emory was informed of these facts. He at once gave General Paine permission to place an additional force in position to support Colonel Bean if necessary. Before the fog lifted General Paine moved his headquarters up to the line held by the Fourth Wisconsin. He was accompanied by the Eighth New Hampshire. This regiment was placed in line of battle in the rear of the Fourth Wisconsin, and both regiments were ordered to place themselves in the deep plantation ditches, so that by lying down they might be sheltered from all missiles, excepting shell bursting directly overhead. The remainder of General Paine's brigade now came up, at twenty-five minutes past six o'clock A. M., when it was determined to make a reconnoissance, in order to learn the meaning of the enemy's movements during the night. General Paine accordingly went up to the line of pickets in front of the Fourth Wisconsin. Proceeding cautiously he reached the extreme advance, and, from observation and information, became satisfied that the Diana was within short-range, having moved from her former position during the night. As General Paine had just come to the conclusion that artillery could be placed in position so as to easily destroy her, the Diana fired her thirty-pound rifled Parrott, the shell passing in dangerous proximity to our little force. This was at thirty-five minutes past six A. M., and was the signal for the second day's fight to commence. At half-past 6 o'clock on Monday morning a large force of the enemy's infantry and cavalry advanced from behind their breastworks, for the purpose of regaining possession of the sugar-house and woods. The guns on the Diana, (two,) the thirty-two pounder at the corner of the road, the batteries alone the breastworks, together with a battery on tile opposite side of the Teche, opened upon the woods and General Paine's command. The men bravely stood their ground amid this terrific hail of iron missiles, and met the advancing enemy with spirit. An infantry fight of half an hour was kept up, our men still holding their ground, and finally driving the rebels to the shelter of their breastworks. While our forces and artillery were getting into position on the left, General Paine sent to General Banks, requesting that heavy guns might be sent forward as rapidly as possible, as his position must soon become untenable, unless artillery arrived at once. Scouts in the mean time were sent forward to observe the movements of the Diana, and in a
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Rebel reports and Narratives.
Doc . 91 .- General Sherman 's expedition.
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