Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 10.djvu/89

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No fighting was done by the forces thus unexpectedly facing each other in battle line. Labadieville, 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. Mc'Pheeters, 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 oppose the enemy at all points, he foresaw the necessity of abandoning Des Allemands, in order better to concentrate his forces 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 have united my force, was to make a desperate resistance and to drive the enemy back, if possible; but when