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[431] The upper part, the one facing the road from the interior, is a beautiful specimen of engineering skill, and is remarkable for the substantial and permanent manner in which every part is constructed. It mounted at the time of capture four guns, two field and two siege, though capable of accommodating twenty. It is perhaps a quarter of a mile from the river-bank, and seated on the gradual slope of a ridge, the first seen on ascending the river. In the lower work commanding the river was a casemated battery of three guns of superior construction. Upon a solid frame of twenty inches of timber were laid two layers of railroad iron, the upper tier reversed and laid into the interstices of the lower. But two guns were in position in it--one eleven-inch columbiad, taken from the Indianola, and an eight-inch smooth bore. On each side were batteries of two guns each, one a seven-inch rifle, of Parrott pattern, making in all eight siege and two field-pieces. There were found besides large quantities of ammunition and a thousand muskets, besides flour, sugar, etc.

Our loss in the affair was four killed and thirty wounded; rebels, five killed and four wounded. Two hundred prisoners constituted the garrison then in the Fort, all of which fell into our hands, with twenty-four officers. A force of about a thousand men has been stationed at De Russy until recently. The smallness of the gar rison is a matter of much surprise, as the enemy must have known of our presence for some days; besides, it appears that a small number left in the morning before the attack. Two thirty-two pounders, on wheels, were hauled off only a few hours before our arrival, and narrowly escaped capture by our forces. It is unaccountable that the rebels should leave so valuable a position almost defenceless at this time, and can only be accounted for on the ground that General Banks was menacing Alexandria, and they decided to sacrifice one of the two places to hold the other. The troops have already reembarked, and are on the way to Alexandria.

Fort De Russy takes its name from Colonel De Russy, who formerly commanded in this vicinity, and lives not far distant. Lieutenant-Colonel Bird was in command, though he reported to General Walker, whose headquarters were at Alexandria.

The following officers are prisoners: Captains Stevens, Morran, Wise, Wright, Laird, and King; Lieutenants Denson, Fuller, Fogarty, Claydon, Trumbull, (Eng.,) Burbank, Hewey, Assenheimer, Fall, Hauk, Ball, Little, Barksdale, Spinks, Bringhurst, and Stout.

From various sources we gather that the rebels here have about abandoned the idea of defending any of their navigable streams. When asked to account for their apparent neglect of so important a fort, they reply that this was considered merely as an experiment in engineering, (certainly a very creditable one, and one which the gunboats alone might have vainly assailed for a: month,) but claim that so soon as we leave the rivers they will fall on us for destruction. This certainly does not find corroboration in the fact that they surrendered to forces which marched across the country. Of this sort was the unfinished obstruction of piles about nine miles below here, which the gunboats had to tear away to allow the huge transports to pass through. As nearly as I can learn, Walker has two thousand men, mostly infantry, south of us. Taylor has, perhaps, as many at Alexandria, and it is probable that they may be united at the latter place. Banks has some, doubtless, in his front about Opelousas.

The Red River has not been used for large transports or gunboats since May last, being hitherto too low. The Webb, Missouri, Grand Duke, and Mary Keene are at Shreveport, armed. The distances on this river from the Mississippi are: Black River, forty miles; De Russy, seventy miles; Alexandria, one hundred and forty miles; Shreveport, four hundred and fifty miles.

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W. P. Walker (2)
N. P. Banks (2)
George P. Wright (1)
Henry A. Wise (1)
Trumbull (1)
Dick Taylor (1)
James H. Stout (1)
T. H. Stevens (1)
Spinks (1)
Russy (1)
Parrott (1)
Morran (1)
Laird (1)
James G. King (1)
Mary Keene (1)
Fuller (1)
Fogarty (1)
Denson (1)
Claydon (1)
Burbank (1)
Bringhurst (1)
Mates Edward Bird (1)
E. Barksdale (1)
Assenheimer (1)
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