The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 17, In Two Parts. Part 1, Reports. Page: 781
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Our loss was slight; that of the ent my much heavier. During the
night I received a telegraphic dispatch from you, ordering me "to
hold out till help arrived or until all dead," which order was commu-
nicated to brigade commanders, with instructions to see it carried out
in spirit and letter. Next morning I made every disposition of my
forces to meet the enemy in the desperate conflict which was soon to
follow. Colonel Deshler with his brigade, with the regiment of Colonel
Dawson attached, commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Hutchinson, occu-
pied the extreme left; Colonel Garland with his brigade, with his right
resting on the fort; while Colonel Dunnington commanded the river de-
fenses. It was near 12 o'clock before the enemy got fully into position,
when he commenced moving upon my lines simultaneously by land and
water. Four iron-clads opened upon the fort, which responded in gal-
lant style with its three guns.
After a continuous fire of three hours they succeeded in silencing
every gun we had with the exception of one small 6-pounder Parrott
gun which was on the land side. Two boats passed tip and opened a
cross-fire upon the fort and our lines; still we maintained the struggle.
Their attack by land -was less successful; on the right they were re-
pulsed twice in attempting to storm our works, and on the left were
driven back with great slaughter in no less than eight different charges.
To defend this entire line of rifle pits I had but one battery of small
field pieces, under command of Captain Hart, to whom great credit is
due for the successful manner in which they were handled, contending,
as he did, with some fifty pieces in his front. The fort had now been
silenced about an hour, most of the field pieces had been disabled,
still the fire raged furiously along the entire line, and that gallant band
of Texans and Arkansians having nothing to rely upon now save their
muskets and bayonets, still disdained to yield to the overpowering foe
of 50,000 men, who were pressing upon them from almost every direc-
tion. Just at this moment, to my great surprise, several white flags
were displayed in the Twenty-fourth Regiment Texas Dismounted Cav-
alry, First Brigade, and before they could be suppressed the enemy
took advantage of them, crowded upon my lines, and not being pre-
vented by the brigade commander from crossing, as was his duty, I
was forced to the humiliating necessity of surrendering the balance of
the command. My great hope was to keep them in check until night,
and then, if re-enforcements did not reach me, cut my way out. No
stigma should rest upon the troops. It was no fault of theirs; they
fought with a desperation and courage yet unsurpassed in this war,
and I hope and trust that the traitor will yet be discovered, brought to
justice, and suffer the full penalty of the law. My thanks are due to
Colonels Anderson and Gillespie for the prompt measures taken to pre-
vent the raising of the white flag in their regiments. In the Second
Brigade, commanded by the gallant Deshler, it was never displayed.
I had ordered Col. E. E. Portlock, comma ending at Saint Charles, to
hasten to my relief with what troops he could spare. Capt. Alf. John-
son reached the post on Saturday night and took part in the action on
the 11th. Colonel Portlock, at the head of 190 men of his regiment of
infantry, made the unprecedented march of 40 miles in twenty-four
hours, and succeeded in entering our lines amidst a heavy fire from
the enemy on his flanks. He was just on the eve of bringing his men
into action when the surrender took place.
In no battle of the war has the disparity of forces been so unequal.
The enemy's force was full 50,000, when ours did not exceed 3,000, and
yet for two days did we signally repulse and hold in check that im-
mense body of the enemy.
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Errata sheets for the Records of the War of the Rebellion include additions and corrections to the text and the index for Series 1, Volume 17.
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United States. War Department. The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union And Confederate Armies. Series 1, Volume 17, In Two Parts. Part 1, Reports., book, 1886; Washington D.C.. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth154626/m1/792/?q=Hart: accessed October 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.