CHAP. XLV1.] THE RED RIVER CAMPAIGN. 465
fusion or difficulty to the front or rear, as might be necessary. A
bridge was being built over the creek I have referred to, Major-Gen-
eral Banks and staff and Major-General Franklin and staff being
for a time present observing its construction. As soOn as the bridge
was completed the train began to cross, and Major-General Franklin
.then directed me to keep my train closed up. I think his words
were, " Do your best to keep the train well closed." The train was
accordingly advanced steadily until it reached the point where it
was finally captured. Here it was halted on account of the heavy
firing in front. I then moved the greater portion of my train to an
open space on either side of the road. The train remained in this
position until Brigadier-General Cameron's command and two bat-
teries of artillery had passed by me up to the front. Having been
to the front, from my own observation and the information I
received I thought it possible that the troops in front might be
compelled to fall back until re-enforcements came up, and, if so;
they would require the open space my train then occupied to form
new lines of battle. I therefore asked Lieutenant-Colonel Chandler,
chief quartermaster, if I had not better move my train back, and he
replied, "No; you must not turn a single wagon ;" adding, " If you
lose your wagons lose them facing the enemy." I therefore remained
with the trains in the position I have described until the rout became
general, when I received an order from Major Howe, acting assistant
adjutant-general, Cavalry Division, to move my train to the rear,
which order I commenced to execute, when I found the road in my
rear, at a point near a slough, blockaded by capsized and stalled
teams belonging to another brigade, which made it wholly impossi-
ble to carry out the order further. In this position the entire train
was captured. I would further state that previous to the instruc-
tions I received from Lieutenant-Colonel Chandler, Captain Hoge,
division quartermaster, told me that the instructions were positive
not to move the train to the rear.
I am, colonel, very respectfully,
F. H. WHITTIER,
Capt. and Actg. Asst. Quartermaster, Fourth Brig.
Col. N. A. M. DUDLEY,
Commanding Fourth Brigade, Cay. Division.
Report of Capt. Elbert H. Fordham, Thirty-first Massachusetts
Mounted Infantry, of operations May 14-18.
HDQRS. THIRTY-FIRST MASSACHUSETTS VOLS. (CAVALRY),
Near Morganza, May 22, 1864.
SIR: I have the honor to report that the Thirty-first Massachusetts
Volunteers (Cavalry) moved with the brigade from Chambers'
plantation on the morning of ale 14th instant. By order of Colonel
Davis I reported with the regiment to Major Marsh, Second Illinois
Cavalry, commanding the rear guard. At about 2 p. m. the enemy
attacked our rear and brought a force of from 200 to 300 on our
left flank. By direction of Major Marsh I dismounted the regiment,
repulsed the attack in rear, and drove the enemy from our left.
In this engagement my loss was 2 killed and 1 wounded. On the
15th, skirmished with the enemy on the left in woods; no casualties.
30 R R—VOL XXXIV, PT I