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[83] companies of cavalry. Nothing could have more clearly showed Weitzel's awe of the victorious Cotton than this disproportionate force to be hurled against her.

At 3 a. m. of January 14, 1863, the gunboats began crossing the troops from Brashear City to Berwick. At 10:30 a. m. infantry, cavalry and artillery were on board. The whole force was disembarked and formed in line of battle at Pattersonville, subsequently advancing to Lynch's Point. There Weitzel bivouacked for the night. A report ran that the Cotton was very near the army's bivouac. It might have been only a Confederate fancy. That night, however, the army slept under guard of the squadron.

The Cotton, indeed, was just in sight. She was only a short distance up the Teche, which Captain Fuller had been commissioned to defend with his guns. So great was the terror inspired by her name that Weitzel's first order, at day-break, was to call for 60 volunteers from each of two regiments, one detachment to move up the east bank of the Teche, the other the west bank. Both were to run right up to the Cotton and shoot down her gunners. Evidently there was no hope for the defender of the Teche, for the vessel was so cordially detested that volunteers responded with the alacrity of hatred. The first movement was made by the gunboats, going ahead to engage their old foe. After the squadron, the army advanced steadily up the bank. The hour of vengeance was drawing near, and all on the bayou and on the shore were waiting to hear the stroke! What danger soever might come from the heroic vessel at bay would fall solely upon the squadron. The army might aid in its destruction—the army itself could not be harmed.

The two regiments out of whose ranks the volunteers had stepped, had marched up on either bank within supporting distance of the doomed boat. That on the west bank threw out its skirmishers in force. With these

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Godfrey Weitzel (3)
E. W. Fuller (1)
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January 14th, 1863 AD (1)
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