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property, consisting chiefly of the rolling stock of the New Orleans, Jackson and Great Northern, the Mississippi Central and Mississippi and Tennessee railroads. The motive power alone consisted of over forty engines. The enemy” bewailed the loss as “incalculable, important, and wholly irreparable,” and was forced to the confession : “Nothing goes well in the Southwest.” Johnston continued his flight westward, toward the borders of Alabama, and thus virtually abandoned the whole State of Mississippi to the conquering arms of the North. Sherman did not persist in the pursuit, but after destroying most of the public property at Jackson, returned with his troops to Wicksburg. The surrender of Wicksburg was followed, as a direct consequence, by that of Port Hudson. It will be necessary, however, before recording the details of the latter event, to narrate the movements in Louisiana of General Banks, which preceded it. This commander, on succeeding General Butler in Louisiana, passed several months in organizing the department, and then with a largely reinforced army entered upon a campaign against the enemy occupying the Attakapa and Teche regions, lying between the western bank of the Mississippi and the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. General Weitzel, who had been operating in this quarter with more or less success, in advance of the main army, having fallen back to Brashear City, there awaited the arrival of Gene
ral Banks. In the mean time, a “reconnoitring” expedition was sent out, which resulted in the loss of the steamer Diana, which was captured by the enemy, with all on board. The main body of General Banks' army having reached Brashear City, the campaign was begun by the advance of General Weitzel, on the 11th of April. Little resistance was met on the route through Brashear City to Pattersonville, which was occupied by the troops on the night of the first day. On the next morning the army continued its march along the borders of the Bayou Teche, with “General Weitzel,” says the chronicler whom we quote,” “having the extreme right of the line, Colonel Ingraham with the first brigade of General Emory and General Paine, of the second brigade, with five batteries, and the Second Rhode Island Cavalry as the main body, and Colonel Gooding with the third brigade in the reserve. “It was the same order all day. On the opposite or north side of the bayou, Colonel Bryan, with the One Hundred and Seventy-fifth New York, marched parallel with the main body. Captain Ellis, of this regiment, was deployed far in the advance and opposite General Weitzel's brigade as skirmishers, and was very hotly engaged all day with the Eighteenth Louisiana Infantry. In the afternoon he was so hotly pressed, that Lieutenant Geisse, with half of his company, took the bayou side, and Captain Ellis with the other half, the right, skirting the woods, and Captain McCarthy,
* Richmond Whig, July 23.
• Correspondent N. Y. Llerald.
with Company A, took the centre. Colonel Bryan reported that he was too hotly pressed, and the Thirty-first Massachusetts was sent over to support him. “In the afternoon the main army had reached the enemy's works, and for half an hour an artillery duel ensued of the fiercest description. The object on our part was to try ere night to feel the enemy's works and prove their position and strength, so that we could commence the attack understandingly in the morning. The enemy seemed to have fieldworks of an extensive character. In the bayou, the rebel gun-boat” Diana took a very active part, and was plainly seen delivering her fire. At last the firing ceased. During it, the balls struck among the reserves, who were ordered to fall back and lie down. The loss on our side was very small. General Banks unexpectedly found himself beyond his extreme advance, and had one of his orderlies shot beside him. This taught us greater caution. The army bivouacked on the field.” Early on the next morning, April 13th, the army made ready for immediate conflict with the enemy, who, says the writer previously quoted, “had a field about a mile and a half broad, bordered on the north by the bayou and on the south by thick woods. On the side of the bayou was a large mansion, which the enemy had set on fire the night before to prevent our
• The vessel captured from the Unionists.
# The enemy's position was on a plantation belonging to a Mr. Beasland, and the battle has been therefore termed that of Beasland.
creeping upon them unperceived. This was in a pretty thick wood. “Immediately beyond this and from the bayou commenced their fortifications, consisting of a breast-work and ditch in front. The ditch was an old plantation ditch enlarged and deepened, and had water in it. It had a large earth-work, called the Star work, which commanded the bayou. This earth-work commencing here, ran away across the field to the woods, and entirely concealed by them was a work which was not discovered until late in the day. Behind this work was a line of rifle-pits, and still farther back was a second line, with a slight ditch. In the rear of this were woods. We were to take these works, commanded by artillery and sharpshooters. The Diana ran up as near us as she dare, but did not come up as near as it had been hoped she would. On learning that the left bank would be hotly contested, Colonel Gooding was ordered to take that bank with his entire brigade and hold it, and drive the enemy, not pressing them beyond the lines on the opposite side. “Meanwhile the main body advanced, and soon an artillery duel ensued, with varying success. The whole line was engaged in skirmishing, and on the extreme left, as the enemy's fire seemed very severe, an attempt was made to turn their flank by Colonel Ingraham's brigade, which drew upon them so severe a fire from the masked battery behind the woods, as to compel them to retire. The enemy served their guns from every part of their works, and with such rapidity that they seemed to have a much larger battery than they in fact had. The Star fort sent very heavy shot from a pivot thirty-two pound rifled gun. In fact, at dark, but little progress had been made but to drive them up to their intrenchments, and we were ready to attempt to storm them in the morning. “Colonel Gooding, with his brigade, was sent over to the north bank, as above alluded to, by means of the repaired bridge partly destroyed by the rebels. We crossed over with the First Maine battery, and found there the One Hundred and Seventy-fifth New York and Thirty-first Massachusetts, and a squad of cavalry from Captain Magee's squadron. These were skirting toward a line of catalpa trees. Beyond the trees was a large field a mile and a half long, having the bayou on one side and a wood on the other. Through it and toward the enemy ran several parallel roads, all smooth. Crossing them were deep plantation ditches and cross roads. About the middle of it was a tall canefield. Half-way up the field and on the bayou was a large sugar-house, supposed to be occupied by the enemy. Beyond it, and also on the bayou, were the smoking ruins of some buildings which had been burned by the enemy the night before. At the farther end of the field were the enemy's field-works. Commencing at the bayou, the lines ran all the way across the field, being a breast-work, with a ditch in front, and a few rifle-pits in front of it. At each entrance of the road was a small redoubt
to guard it, and at the extreme right a large five-sided work, with a deep ditch filled with water. It had, as we afterward found, a frame for a pivot gun. This work was on the extreme left of the enemy's works, and was disguised by the bushes and woods. Runing parallel with the woods was a plantation ditch, which was enlarged and deepened, and a breast-work, which was enfiladed by the fire from the corner fort. Across this was a small earth-work running into the woods to prevent the rebels being outflanked. “The whole of our force was concealed by the catalpa trees. Colonel Gooding received orders to drive the enemy's light battery from the field, but not to storm the works. It turned out that there was not any battery outside the works. “The Thirty-first Massachusetts, under Lieutenant-Colonel Hopkins, was ordered to deploy as skirmishers, and slowly advanced, meeting no enemy until they had passed the line of the sugar-house, supported by the Thirty-eighth Massachusetts, Lieutenant-Colonel Rodman. Here they were hotly contested by the enemy. When we had pushed them back, Colonel Gooding and his staff rode on the field and examined all the works of the enemy. The Thirty-first Massachusetts having expended its ammunition, it was relieved by the Thirtyeighth Massachusetts. “The dispositions of the brigade were made for the day by the Thirty-eighth Massachusetts advancing and deploying as skirmishers on the left; the Fiftythird Massachusetts slightly in the rear, and at the right of the Thirty-eighth, also deployed as skirmishers; the One Hundred and Fifty-sixth New York, Lieutenant-Colonel Sharpe, on the extreme right on the woods, advancing slowly and supported by the cavalry. Between the Thirty-eighth and Fifty-third Massachusetts, one section of the first main battery was placed on a road leading to the enemy's works; one section between the Fifty-third Massachusetts and One Hundred and Fifty-sixth New York; the third section in reserve; the One Hundred and Seventy-fifth New York in reserve to the left and on the rear of the battery; the Thirty-first Massachusetts in reserve and in the rear of the right section of the battery. “A cautious reconnoissance of the sugar factory discovered the fact that there was no enemy in it, and after the usual precautions the entire staff entered the factory with Colonel Gooding and reconnoitred. The enemy's works were distinctly seen to extend the whole length of the field, and in three pieces there appeared to be three batteries, but how many pieces was not apparent. In the corner, the five-sided fort was plainly seen, but appeared to be a lunette. Lieutenant Russell, of the signal corps, was on the top of the roof signalizing, when suddenly crash came a shot through the roof, making the whole building shake. A few feet below Lieutenant Russell the ball had entered. It was a beautiful line shot, but aimed too low. “Colonel Gooding ordered those in
the neighborhood of the factory to leave with as much ostentation as possible, to prevent the enemy from making it a centre of their shot, as it was very desirable to have the building out of harm in order to have our signals seen. The lines were ordered to advance slowly but surely, the skirmishers in advance, the main body running from plantation ditch to ditch, so as not to be more exposed than necessary. Thus we passed the cane-field. The One Hundred and Fifty-sixth New York were pressing the left of the enemy, intending to turn it; and here occurred an example of bravery worthy of mention. The exact position of the enemy on the right, in the woods, was unknown, when a cavalryman offered to advance and draw their fire. Slowly he rode up until almost at the woods, when suddenly a sheet of fire opened upon him. He coolly turned his horse and rode back unharmed. Colonel Sharpe now advanced very close to the woods under a terrible fire. So heavy was it, that the Thirty-first was ordered to support and press it on. They continued it until near the breast-works, when, with a loud cheer, they carried the works, and were enabled to follow the enemy into the woods. “Meanwhile, on the left, the Thirtyeighth Massachusetts charged up and drove the enemy on that side in their intrenchments, and were following them up. The Fifty-third Massachusetts was driving them up when darkness came on. An order was received by Colonel Gooding to remain where they then were until the next morning. The kine
of skirmishers became a line of pickets, the main body sleeping on their arms, in the same position they were during the day, intending to renew it in the morning. * * *
“The order to keep the men concealed in the plantation ditches made our loss very small. The skirmishers cleared the way, and the regiments would pass forward from one ditch to another on a run. The disposition thus made was sufficient to make the enemy apparently in the condition of the unintrenched.
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“Early the next morning, at daybreak, Captain Allen, of Company D, Thirtyfirst Massachusetts, entered the extreme left of the enemy's works, and at the same time Colonel Kimball, with the advance of the Fifty-eighth Massachusetts, entered the centre of their works. They were evacuated. The works were found to be stronger than we had anticipated. The left had been turned by the One Hundred and Fifty-sixth New York, and hence were, in fact, untenable. Another hour would have put us in possession of the whole works. We immediately pressed in, and the One Hundred and Fifty-sixth New York appeared on our right as cavalry, so many horses had their skirmishers picked
up. Our fire had been very effective here. The dead were lying all about the woods. Their wounded were gen
erally carried off. Where the artillery had been, we found a heap of dead horses. Our howitzers had given them a good dose of grape, and it is supposed that their guns must have been quite
short of horses. We followed them up through the woods for a mile, when we found the road crossed the bayou. Here the enemy had crossed over, and burned the bridge after crossing, which completely checked our course. We made a temporary bridge for the men to cross, and then rigged up one sufficiently strong for the artillery and wagons. * * * “On the opposite side of the bayou General Banks discovered that they had retreated in the night, and entered the works, finding that they had left their thirty-two-pounder without spiking it. They had heard that Grover was in their rear, and had retreated, intending to cut through Grover. It seems that Grover, with his division in gun-boats, had gone up the Atchafalaya and landed near Franklin, and attempted to come down on the enemy's rear. When coming down they hit upon a party of skirmishers of the enemy. They led one of his brigades into an open field, where they had a wood on either flank, and one in front. They drew the brigade toward the corner of the two woods, when suddenly they had a terrific fire opened on them in the front and flank, both of musketry and cannon. So hot was it, that the loss was between two and three hundred before they could form and fall back. A section of one of our batteries came very near being taken, the enemy getting within sixty yards of it before it could be withdrawn. The remainder of the division came up, and a cannonading was kept up for four hours. The enemy sent off his infantry by a cross road