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[153] killed, and so of a long list of neighbors and friends.

I started at once for the field, but meeting General Washburn, was informed that the whole force was ordered back to Carrion-Crow Bayou, and that it was useless to proceed, as they would leave before I would reach the old camp, so we fell back to headquarters to wait for them. It was long after dark before they arrived. I stood upon the bridge full two hours waiting for them. They came up joking and laughing, in no way dispirited or depressed at the terrible ordeal they had passed; and then there was such a handshaking with all of them as I never had before. They supposed us lost. They had stood on higher ground than the camp — had seen the cavalry rush down upon it before we were aware of it, and had fairly given us over to the chances in Dixie — and their joy was in proportion at seeing us safe, while mine was equally great at finding so many unhurt, and so comparatively few killed and wounded.

This battle opened by a sudden attack of two thousand five hundred rebel infantry upon the Sixtieth Indiana and Ninety-sixth Ohio in the woods, which soon broke and fell back, when the rebel cavalry charged upon the battery, (Seventeeth Ohio,) and captured two guns, one of which was retaken. The charge of the Twenty-third Wisconsin was to save the balance of the battery, and it saved it; but was itself speedily overwhelmed, and compelled to retreat. General Burbridge gives it this credit, and of saving what was left of the brigade. It checked the advance long enough to allow a retreat, and certainly it was not in mortal power, under such a fire, to have done more.

The brigade went into the fight with one thousand and ten men, and came out with three hundred and sixty-one. The Twenty-third went in with two hundred and six muskets and twenty officers, and came out with ninety-eight men. Being now reduced to a mere company, the authorities in Wisconsin ought, if possible, to secure its return to the State, to recruit up its wasted strength. No braver men ever went upon a battle-field, and, although one of the later regiments, it yields to none in the service it has rendered.

The rebel loss was far more severe. Green and Taylor united their forces for the dash, and, from the best sources of information attainable, they brought into the field two thousand five hundred infantry, four thousand cavalry or mounted men, and one battery. Eighty of them lay dead directly in front of our first line of battle in the woods, and how many others fell, our forces had not counted at the time of leaving. Wounded prisoners were exchanged next day, and the rebels reported their loss at about one hundred and ninety killed, from four hundred to five hundred wounded, and about one hundred prisoners. As their attacking force came up eight lines deep, the bullets must have told terribly upon them.

Of the result of the election in the Twenty-third, nothing specific can be stated. The vote for the Union ticket was nearly unanimous; but the poll-lists of part of the companies were lost; and of those saved, there is generally a lack of officers left to make out the certificates. In one company, one inspector was killed, one taken prisoner, with both clerks — leaving but one officer of the board. I advised him to append an affidavit of the facts, but what will be done I do not know.

Both the Thirteenth and Nineteenth Corps had fallen back to Vermillion Bayou, when I left there on Saturday. It is reported that the Thirteenth has been ordered to Memphis; it belongs to Grant's army proper. It is reported also, and believed, that Brownsville, Texas, is in possession of General Banks. If so, my next assignment will take me to the Rio Grande.

H. A.

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