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F. O. Cornay (search for this): chapter 8
not offer resistance to gunboats, if once in the bay, Mouton, selecting a defensible position on the Teche, hastened to intrench and fortify about half a mile up the bayou. To provide for every contingency he placed obstructions in the bayou at Cornay's bridge. What was to be done needed swiftness. Not many miles separated the passes and the Teche. It would not be long before the gunboats would be pushing their black prows up to Cornay's. His only hope was that a low tide might prevent themCornay's. His only hope was that a low tide might prevent them from removing his obstructions, or from finding the channel, always somewhat uncertain. This hope was destined to speedy disappointment. Captain E. W. Fuller, commanding the Confederate gunboat, J. A. Cotton, which with two small steamers and a launch composed the flotilla in Berwick bay, was sharply watching the Federal squadron under Lieut. T. McK. Buchanan. On November 1st he notified General Mouton that one was within his obstructions, with the others steaming past—a serious blow, whic
W. B. Franklin (search for this): chapter 8
Chapter 8: General Butler's rural Enterprises Richard Taylor in West Louisiana campaign on the Lafourche battle of Labadieville operations about Berwick bay exploits of the gunboat Cotton. The outlying country from Algiers on the Mississippi to Franklin on the Teche is peculiarly fitted for military operations. Like all lower Louisiana it presents a vast network of rivers, or bayous as large as many rivers, suitable for the movements of large vessels. Irrigating generously the fields lying level upon their banks, they reward them with rich harvests of sugarcane and cotton. It was for the wealth in these fields that General Butler kept his forces a constant menace upon the territory. For this purpose, and as an aid to success, he developed a system of light-draft steamers, previously prepared for the service by mounting them with light guns and protecting their boilers and engines with iron armor. In this manner did he strive to utilize the water courses, thre
Alfred Mouton (search for this): chapter 8
ccourci (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, previouss of the bayou. To oppose the double advance, Mouton made a careful distribution of his small forc, and here the Confederates made a new stand. Mouton had the commander's eye—the eye which in the bs forces there. This was a challenge to which Mouton at once responded by throwing across to the sak part of his infantry stationed on the left. Mouton says in his report: At the close of the day thonel Vick's command lagged behind. My object, Mouton continued, could I have united my force, was ter resistance to gunboats, if once in the bay, Mouton, selecting a defensible position on the Teche,. Buchanan. On November 1st he notified General Mouton that one was within his obstructions, withthe Cotton was to keep the gunboats busy while Mouton was using mattock and spade. The Cotton showe[12 more...]
T. A. Faries' artillery had got into battery just in time to protect the Cotton, whose gunners and pilots had already left, owing to the hot fire of the sharpshooters. The Cotton had in fact become unmanageable, and was able to retreat only through the efforts of the battery in dispersing the Federals. She retreated slowly, proudly, avoiding haste. After getting out of range the boat staggered back, as though blinded, but resolved again to defy shell and spherical case. The next morning Nemesis had prepared a dramatic end for the Cotton—such as she had prepared for each of the Confederate guards of the interior waters of our State. Before daybreak; even before the eager forces could begin to remove obstructions 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 h
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
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
November 1st (search for this): chapter 8
efore the gunboats would be pushing their black prows up to Cornay's. His only hope was that a low tide might prevent them from removing his obstructions, or from finding the channel, always somewhat uncertain. This hope was destined to speedy disappointment. Captain E. W. Fuller, commanding the Confederate gunboat, J. A. Cotton, which with two small steamers and a launch composed the flotilla in Berwick bay, was sharply watching the Federal squadron under Lieut. T. McK. Buchanan. On November 1st he notified General Mouton that one was within his obstructions, with the others steaming past—a serious blow, which Mouton met by falling back two miles above the obstructions, at Mrs. Meade's. New intrenchments were begun, with a view to establishing heavy guns. The same day four gunboats were seen cautiously moving up the bayou. He had already ordered Captain Fuller with the Cotton to delay them as long as possible. Intrenchments were to be strengthened; and the Cotton was to keep t
November 2nd (search for this): chapter 8
renchments were begun, with a view to establishing heavy guns. The same day four gunboats were seen cautiously moving up the bayou. He had already ordered Captain Fuller with the Cotton to delay them as long as possible. Intrenchments were to be strengthened; and the Cotton was to keep the gunboats busy while Mouton was using mattock and spade. The Cotton showed no fear of the enemy. Several shots were exchanged between steamer and gunboats, without injury to either. On the night of November 2d it became a small game of hide and seek. The gunboats had dropped back to the bay. With them out of the way the Cotton, capable of being of great service to Mouton, was lost for a time, being backed up the Teche a little above the intrenchments. Service was soon demanded, however, of the Cotton, even in the Teche. It was to be ready to engage the gunboats should they come up again. On November 3d the enemy moved up, as expected. At 2 p. m. his whole force engaged the Cotton. Behin
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
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.
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