party, under General Green's intrepid scout, McAnally, being the only force of their command near, and to him the flags were delivered. The colonel (Federal), however, on my asking to what force he had surrendered, said to mine, supposing it to be a portion of Mouton's, who had made a previous demand for surrender, and seeing McAnally had sent to him a white flag. I mention this merely to show that, although the flags were delivered to others, the surrender was in fact to my force, and the gallant General Green waived the honor of the capture to me. The prisoners here captured were two hundred and seventy-five, four guns, ammunition, small arms, commissary and quartermaster stores, and about three thousand negroes. Too much praise cannot be awarded to the gallant band who comprise the second cavalry brigade, who, without murmur, shared in the trials and hardships incident to so extended and rapid a march through country occupied by the enemy, passing many sleepless nights and fasting days, subsisting through the entire march on one ration per day, and averaging but three hours of rest in every twenty-four. To the citizens on the route I have to acknowledge many favors, who generously furnished the infantry with transportation, until I mounted them upon animals captured from the plantations cultivated by the Federal authorities. This command, composed of infantry, artillery, and cavalry, marched one hundred and seventy-six miles in four days, an average of forty-four miles per day; it moved in an orderly manner, never depredating on private property, and bore their hardships without a murmur. It is, however, with sorrow that I have to report the death of the noble men who fell in the charge under the gallant Colonel Pyron at Lafourche, and under Colonel Phillips at Plaquemine, of which casualties I will make a detailed report. To the members of my staff, Captains Wade and Zacharie, I am indebted for a hearty co-operation throughout the trip. Also to Lieutenant West, for his efficiency in his department. The services of Captain Ratcliffe, volunteer aid, were invaluable, owing to his thorough knowledge of the country and indefatigable exertions. Volunteer aids, Major McGoffin and Captain Duzenberry, also rendered me great service. I am, Major, very respectfully, Your obedient servant,
James P. Major, Colonel, commanding Second Cavalry Brigade.
Upon the foregoing report was the following endorsement:
headquarters District Western Louisiana, Thibodeauxville, July 6, 1863.The conduct of Colonel Major, during the service herein mentioned, has been above all praise. He has shown energy, industry, and capacity which render him fit for any command, and I respectfully recommend and request that his command as colonel commanding brigade may be made permanent, as I am sure the interests of the service and the country will be promoted by his promotion.R. Taylor, Major-General, commanding.
Report of Major Sherod Hunter.
Bayou Teche, in forty-eight skiffs and flats, collected for that purpose. Proceeding up the Atchafalaya into Grand Lake, I halted and muffled oars, and again struck, and after a steady pull of about eight hours, reached the shore in the rear of Brashear City. Here, owing to the swampy nature of the country, we were delayed some time in finding a landing place, but at length succeeded, and about sunrise commenced to disembark my troops, the men wading out in the water from two to three feet deep to the shore, shoving their boats into deep water as they left them, thus cutting off all means of retreat; we could only fight and win. We were again delayed here a short time in finding a road, but succeeded at length in finding a trail that led us by a circuitous route through a palmetto swamp, some two miles across, through which I could only move in single file. About half-past 5 we reached open ground in the rear of a fence, in full view of Brashear City, about eight hundred yards distant. I here halted the command, and after resting a few minutes, again moved on under cover of a skirt of timber, until within four hundred yards of the enemy's position, where I formed my men in order of battle. Finding myself discovered by the enemy, I determined to charge at once, and dividing my command into two columns, ordered the left, composed of Captains Clough of Green's regiment, McDade of Waller's battalion, Hamilton of Perudtree's battalion, and Blair of Second Louisiana cavalry, to charge the fort and camp below and to the left of the depot, and the right, composed of Captains Price, Carrington, and Boyce, all of Baylor's Texas cavalry, to charge the fort and sugarhouse, above and on the right of the depot, both columns to concentrate at the railroad buildings, at which point the enemy were posted in force and under good cover. Each column having nearly the same distance to move, would arrive simultaneously at the point of concentration. Everything being in readiness, the command was given, and the troops moved on with a yell. Being in full view, we were subjected to a heavy fire from the forts above and below--