The next day, November 3, marks another occasion when the battery won especial honor for itself, and as we read in General Burbridge
's report—‘did more than its whole duty.’1
At Grand Coteau, the Confederate forces including cavalry and artillery—about 5500 in number, under General Greene
—surprised the camp and nearly captured it. The right under General Burbridge
on whom the weight of the attack fell was almost surrounded and ruin seemed inevitable.
The section of the battery under Lieutenant Marland
was attacked, the enemy being in so short range that the guns could not be brought into action, and while part were endeavoring to work the guns others were harnessing the horses.
A desperate conflict ensued, the guns keeping up a heavy fire.
Regiment after regiment of infantry was brought up as support but gave way until the battery was almost surrounded.
It was at last obliged to fall back, the cannoneers fighting their way with their revolvers; but bringing off their guns in triumph.
Before they had retreated far they saw coming to their aid on the double quick General Cameron
's Brigade of the 13th Corps.
They immediately halted, got their guns in position and renewed the conflict, chasing the enemy back four miles, and securing thus a Union victory.
When General Franklin
was told of this experience he said, ‘If there is ever another opportunity of racing a section of Nims
' Battery give it your two best regiments for support, for it is the finest battery in the United States
One historian in relating this incident says, ‘Nims
' Battery saved the day.’
The following is the official report of Lieutenant Marland
as given in Official Records
, Vol. 26, p. 371.