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ctions. Their shells, skillfully guided, compelled the Confederates to get out of range. The squadron continued the shelling at intervals for three days, until Wednesday, November 5th, on which day victory clearly remained with the Cotton. The enemy, wearied with the long contest and conscious of having inflicted but little injury upon their plucky foe, turned and steamed back to Berwick bay. On his side, Mouton completed at his ease the mounting of such guns as he had. At 4 a. m. on the 4th, he had resumed his position on the Teche. The casualties of the engagement, on the Cotton, were 1 private killed and 2 wounded; and though slightly damaged the gunboat was soon in trim for another exchange of shells and spherical cases. The conduct of Capt. E. W. Fuller, commanding, in successfully repulsing, with an artillery company on a small gunboat, with 4 guns, a squadron of four gunboats carrying 27 guns, was highly complimented by General Taylor. This series of affairs was, in e
within easy distance of New Orleans. The history of the war in Louisiana is full of skirmishes, the occasional result of such expeditions. Some have already been mentioned. Arrayed against him, Weitzel heard that in the Lafourche district Brig.—Gen. Alfred Mouton, an able soldier, would be pitted. On October 24th the Federal general left Carrollton with his command. With him moved the inevitable parade of gunboats. Going up the river he entered Donaldsonville without opposition on the 25th. A reconnoissance drove in our pickets, and reported the Confederates in force on both sides of the Lafourche. He purposed to start the next day with his train and caissons, with Thibodeaux as his objective point. Leaving Donaldsonville, he marched on the left bank until he was near Napoleonville, where he bivouacked in line of battle. Weitzel was fox-like. With a view to preventing the Confederates from making use of their flatboat ferries, he summarily took in tow a flatboat bridge, me
abadieville, although gallantly contested, proved to be a Confederate reverse. The odds, through heavy reinforcements coming in toward the end, proved too much for our thin line. Our loss at Labadieville was in killed, 5; wounded, 8; missing, 186. Mouton refers to the regretted death of Col. G. P. McPheeters, commanding the Crescent regiment. McPheeters, a distinguished lawyer in peace, had in war won his stars On that field of Mars, Where the glorious Johnston fell. At mid-day on the 27th, Mouton had given orders to Major Sanders, assistant-quartermaster, to send over the train to get Col. T. E. Vick's command, consisting of the Lafourche militia, about 500 strong, and a detachment from the Thirty-third, with instructions to save everything he could and to destroy everything he could not save. This was a matter of precaution. Simultaneous movements, he had learned, would be made by the enemy via Donaldsonville, Des Allemands and Berwick bay. With a force sufficient to oppos
orces at Berwick bay. Vick, after destroying the Des Allemands station and burning the bridge, marched to join the main army. A roadbed is wearisome walking. Vick's militia found it so hard that they did not rejoin Mouton until 3 p. m. on the 28th. Vick's men, it must be added, were principally conscripts. Speaking of them, General Mouton says: On the retreat, I am sorry to say, many of the conscripts attached to Colonel Vick's command lagged behind. My object, Mouton continued, could I ce I issued orders for the removal of the sick to Berwick bay and made all needful preparations for the removal of the stores. Mouton, still retiring slowly, faced the enemy like a lion at bay, until he was ready to withdraw. At 4 p. m. on the 28th, he sent forward all the troops which could be collected. Then, as proof that he was still able to damage the enemy, he ordered the destruction by fire of the Thibodeaux bridge, the Lafourche crossing bridge, and the Terrebonne station. After wh
and made all needful preparations for the removal of the stores. Mouton, still retiring slowly, faced the enemy like a lion at bay, until he was ready to withdraw. At 4 p. m. on the 28th, he sent forward all the troops which could be collected. Then, as proof that he was still able to damage the enemy, he ordered the destruction by fire of the Thibodeaux bridge, the Lafourche crossing bridge, and the Terrebonne station. After which, riding with his cavalry, he reached Berwick bay on the 29th. By the 30th, everything worth preserving had been crossed over the Atchafalaya. Mouton did not long hold Berwick. Barely resting in that post, he was informed of the presence of four of the enemy's gunboats. He learned, moreover, that those boats were lying outside of obstructions which had been placed in the passes. Evidently the enemy was preparing for a war-raid up the bayou. Knowing that he could not offer resistance to gunboats, if once in the bay, Mouton, selecting a defensible p
January 14th (search for this): chapter 8
ctions in the bayou, a cry was heard forward. It passed clearly from man to man. The Cotton is on fire! The report was well founded. The gunboat had; in some blind way, swung across the bayou. There, as though faithful beyond her life, the Teche's heroic defender had placed herself as a still more difficult obstruction to the enemy's entrance into those lovely waters, so rich in natural beauties and so idolized by the genius of our sweetest American poet. The expedition having accomplished its object, Weitzel ordered an immediate return to Brashear City. In his exultation on the result of the expedition, Weitzel poetically telegraphed on January 14th, The Confederate States gunboat Cotton is one of the things that were. Thirty-five years have passed since the J. A. Cotton perished gloriously between the banks which she had so gallantly guarded. The deeds of this champion of our imperiled bayous will not soon be forgotten in the war traditions of our Louisiana waterways.
June 25th (search for this): chapter 8
rganizing a strong expedition to move through western Louisiana for the purpose of dispersing the force assembled there under Gen. Richard Taylor. He had already resolved upon placing the command under Weitzel. On May 26, 1862, Department No. 2 had been extended to embrace east Louisiana, and the Trans-Mississippi department had been constituted, including west Louisiana Gen. Paul O. Hebert, two days later, was assigned to the command of the district of West Louisiana and Texas, and on June 25th East Louisiana came under the department command of Gen. Braxton Bragg. On August 20th Maj.-Gen. Richard Taylor, already distinguished in the Virginia campaigns, was ordered to the command of the district of West Louisiana. Taylor was an unknown quantity for Butler. Banks was to learn him thoroughly, and to his painful cost before another year. Another Arminius, Taylor loved to fight on his State's soil against his State's foes. This territory of western Louisiana was destined to be
August 20th (search for this): chapter 8
ersing the force assembled there under Gen. Richard Taylor. He had already resolved upon placing the command under Weitzel. On May 26, 1862, Department No. 2 had been extended to embrace east Louisiana, and the Trans-Mississippi department had been constituted, including west Louisiana Gen. Paul O. Hebert, two days later, was assigned to the command of the district of West Louisiana and Texas, and on June 25th East Louisiana came under the department command of Gen. Braxton Bragg. On August 20th Maj.-Gen. Richard Taylor, already distinguished in the Virginia campaigns, was ordered to the command of the district of West Louisiana. Taylor was an unknown quantity for Butler. Banks was to learn him thoroughly, and to his painful cost before another year. Another Arminius, Taylor loved to fight on his State's soil against his State's foes. This territory of western Louisiana was destined to become a Belgium for both forces. Each, in turn, was to occupy, to lose, to regain it. N
October 24th (search for this): chapter 8
ed to believe until Banks superseded him on the 8th of November, 1862. It is useless to follow his troops in their marauding expeditions which penetrated into the interior of the State within easy distance of New Orleans. The history of the war in Louisiana is full of skirmishes, the occasional result of such expeditions. Some have already been mentioned. Arrayed against him, Weitzel heard that in the Lafourche district Brig.—Gen. Alfred Mouton, an able soldier, would be pitted. On October 24th the Federal general left Carrollton with his command. With him moved the inevitable parade of gunboats. Going up the river he entered Donaldsonville without opposition on the 25th. A reconnoissance drove in our pickets, and reported the Confederates in force on both sides of the Lafourche. He purposed to start the next day with his train and caissons, with Thibodeaux as his objective point. Leaving Donaldsonville, he marched on the left bank until he was near Napoleonville, where he
October 25th (search for this): chapter 8
(cut-off) in Assumption parish. There Mouton had met him and learned the war news. Hearing of the disparity of force, Mouton had receded still more while waiting for reinforcements, previously ordered up from Berwick bay and Bayou Boeuf, where they had been stationed. Reaching, in falling back, the Winn plantation, two miles above Labadieville, he found the Eighteenth and Crescent regiments, with Ralston's battery, just come in from the bay. With them came the Terrebonne militia. On October 25th the enemy were marching both sides of the bayou. To oppose the double advance, Mouton made a careful distribution of his small force. On the right bank he placed the Eighteenth regiment, 240 men; Crescent regiment, 135; Ralston's battery, 64; detachment of cavalry, 100; total, 539 men; and on the left bank, Thirty-third regiment (Clack's and Fournet's battalions), 594 men; Terrebonne regiment, 34; Semmes' battery, 75; Second Louisiana cavalry, 150 men; total, 853 men. It was a pecul
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