our forces on the twentieth, at Lafourche, crossing on the Opelousas Railway, cutting off communication between Brashear City and New Orleans. They were, however, finally repulsed; but renewed their attack on the twenty-first, which resulted in their again being repulsed, leaving fifty-three of their dead upon the field, and sixteen prisoners in our hands. Our loss was eight killed and sixteen wounded. Reinforcements were sent from New Orleans, but the enemy did not renew the attack. Our forces were under command of Lieutenant-Colonel Albert Stickney, Forty-seventh Massachusetts volunteers. Subsequently, they fell back to Algiers. Orders had been sent to Brashear City to remove all stores, and hold the position, with the aid of the gunboats to the last. But the enemy succeeded in crossing Grand Lake by means of rafts, and surprised and captured the garrison on the twenty-second of June, consisting of about three hundred men, two thirty pounder Parrott guns, and six twenty-four pounders. The enemy, greatly increased in numbers, then attacked the works at Donaldsonville, on the Mississippi, which were defended by a garrison of two hundred and twenty-five men, including convalescents, commanded by Major J. D. Bullen, Twenty-eighth Maine volunteers. The attack was made at half past 4 in the morning of the twenty-eighth of June, and lasted until daylight. The garrison made a splendid defence, killing and wounding more than their own number, and capturing as many officers, and nearly as many men as their garrison numbered. The enemy's troops were under command of General Greene, of Texas, and consisted of the Louisiana troops under General Taylor, and five thousand Texas cavalry, making a force of nine to twelve thousand in all that vicinity. The troops engaged in these different operations left but four hundred men in New Orleans. The vigor and strength of the enemy in these several attacks show that, with the aid of the garrison at Port Hudson, New Orleans could not have been defended, had my command been involved in the operations against Vicksburg. Upon the surrender of Port Hudson, it was found that the enemy had established batteries below on the river, cutting off our communication with New Orleans, making it necessary to send a large force to dislodge them. The troops, exhausted by the labors of the long campaign, including nine months men and the regiments of colored troops, which had been organized, during the campaign, from the negroes of the country, did not number ten thousand effective men. It was impossible to drive the enemy from the river below and leave troops enough at Port Hudson to maintain the position and guard between six and seven thousand prisoners. For these reasons, the privates were paroled, and the officers sent to New Orleans. On the ninth of July, seven transports, containing all my available force, were sent below against the enemy, in the vicinity of Donaldsonville. The country was speedily freed from his presence, and Brashear City was recaptured on the twenty-second of July. During the siege the colored troops held the extreme right of our line on the river, and shared in all the dangers of the twenty-seventh of May and the fourteenth of June, sustaining, besides, several desperate sorties of the enemy, particularly directed against them, with bravery and success. The new regiments of General Ullmarc's brigade, which had been raised during the campaign, also shared the labors of the siege and the honors of the final victory. Colonel B. F. Grierson, commanding the Sixth and Seventh regiments of Illinois cavalry, arrived at Baton Rouge, in April, from La Grange, Tennessee, and joined us with his force at Port Hudson, covering our rear during the siege, and rendering most important services. His officers and men were constantly on duty, regardless of toil and danger. They covered our foraging parties, dispersed the cavalry forces of the enemy, when they concentrated, and contributed in a great degree to the reduction of the post. Our deficiency in cavalry made his assistance of the utmost importance. With the exception of this command, much reduced by long journeys, our mounted force consisted chiefly of infantry mounted on the horses of the country collected during the campaign. The cooperation of the fleet under Rear Admiral Farragut, on the waters west of the Mississippi, as well as at Port Hudson, was harmonious and effective, and contributed greatly to the success of our arms, A battery of heavy guns was established in the rear of the works, by one of the officers of the navy, the fire of which was most constant and effective. The signal corps, under command of Captain Rowley, and subsequently under Captain Roe, and the telegraphic corps, under Captain Bulkley, rendered every assistance possible to these branches of the service. By means of signals and telegraphs, a perfect communication was maintained at all times, night and day, between the fleet and the army, and with the different portions of the army. The rebels admitted, after the close of the siege, that they had lost in killed and wounded, during the siege, six hundred and ten men; but they underrated the number of prisoners and guns they surrendered, and their loss in killed and wounded was larger than was admitted by them. It could not have been less than eight hundred or one thousand men. Five hundred men were found in the hospitals. The wounds were mostly in the head, from the fire of sharpshooters, and very severe. A small portion of the troops composing the garrison at Port Hudson were ordered to Vicksburg, to strengthen the command of General Pemberton, subsequent to the attack in March. This gave rise to the report that the place had been evacuated; and it was only after the unsuccessful assaults of the twenty-seventh of May and fourteenth of June, that the strength of the fortifications and garrison was appreciated, and all parties were satisfied that our force was insufficient to effect the capture by assault. The uncertainty as to the movements of Johnston's command, which was known to be in the rear of
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Foreign accounts of the fight.
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