loss,’ and in another place that the Confederate fire was returned ‘with effect.’
Colonel Ford and Captain Carrington say the victory was complete by the Confederates without the loss of a single man, which is undoubtedly true.
Extract from the report of Lieutenant-Colonel David Branson, 62d United States Colored Troops, battle May 13, 1865:
By order of Colonel Barrett fell back one and a half miles to a bluff on the river, about twelve miles from Coca Chica, to get dinner and rest for the night.
Here, at 4 P. M., a large force of the enemy's cavalry was observed endeavoring to gain our rear.
I was ordered with the regiment to form line obliquely to the rear, faced toward them.
As soon as formed, and while awaiting expected cavalry charge, the enemy from a hill up the river (one and a half miles farther on) opened with artillery, doing no damage and creating no panic in my command, when I moved off, as ordered by Colonel Barrett, in retreat, furnishing 140 men for skirmishers, under Captains Miller and Coffin and Lieutenants Foster and Mead.
They kept the enemy at a respectful distance at all times and did their duty in the best possible manner.
Some temporary confusion was created by a portion of the 34th Indiana breaking through my regiment at double quick while I was marching in quick time, but order was immediately restored.
The retreat was conducted by the right flank, for the reason that the nearest body of the enemy, 250 strong, with two pieces of artillery, were evidently trying to gain our rear and a favorable opportunity to charge, which was each time prevented by halting my command and coming to a front, thus facing him with the river at our backs.
The force engaged with our skirmishers up the river was not immediately feared by our battalion, being so much farther distant, and their fire, both of artillery and cavalry, very inaccurate.
Owing to this same flanking force of the enemy our skirmish line could not be relieved without exposing the men and our colors to capture while rallying.
‘Our losses of ordnance, seven Enfield rifles and accoutrements; of camp and garrison equipage, light.
Casualties: two men missing, supposed to be in the hands of the enemy.
Five men wounded. * * * The entire operation demonstrated the fact that the negro soldiers can march.’
The above report evidently proves the fact that the main object of
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