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The Battle of Brashear City

June 23, 1863 in Brashear City, Louisiana

Union Forces Commanded by:
Forces Killed Wounded Captured
- 46 40 300*

Confederate Forces Commanded by:
Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor
Forces Killed Wounded Captured
- 3 18 -

**Missing and Captured
Conclusion: Confederate Victory


� The only remaining Confederate strongholds on the Mississippi were at Vicksburg and Port Hudson.  Port  Hudson, approximately 20 miles north of Baton Rouge, had been invested by Union forces under command of Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks since May 22, 1863.   The longest military siege on the North American continent had begun.  If Port Hudson fell to the Federals, total Union control of the River would be one step closer to reality.
In order to divert Union attention away from Port Hudson, Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor planned an offensive into the Lafourche district.  The district, which included the parishes southwest of New Orleans and south of the Mississippi, had been occupied by Union forces since late October, 1862.  Many of the Union troops had been diverted to Port Hudson in May, 1863 when the siege of that Confederate strong-hold began.  If Taylor could reoccupy the Lafourche district, he could then threaten New Orleans and force Banks to divert his army at Port Hudson, in order to protect the Union occupied Crescent City.
Taylor's plans called for a 2- prong invasion of the Lafourche district.  His primary mission was to seize control of Brashear City (present day Morgan City), and the capture of the large military stores within the village.  With that accomplished, Taylor could then threaten New Orleans.
Brig. Gen. Alfred Mouton, with Taylor, attacked and captured the Union garrison at Brashear City on June 24th, by way of the Teche Country.  To cut off the Union retreat, Col. James P. Major, leading an all Texas cavalry brigade traveled down the west bank of the Mississippi to Donaldsonville.  He then traveled down Bayou Lafourche to Thibodaux where a small Union garrison was captured on June 20th. 
To occupy the Union's attention away form Brashear City, a detachment of Texas Cavalry from Major's brigade attacked a Union position at Lafourche Crossing on June 21-22.  The battle ended in a Union victory, but it served the Confederate purpose by keeping Union forces from reinforcing Brashear City.
The Confederates successfully captured Brashear City from the small Union garrison. Along with the town, they also captured approximately $2 million of Union supplies.

The following Battle Report comes from the Official Records of the Battle of Brashear:

Report of Maj. Sherod Hunter, Baylor's (Texas) Cavalry, commanding Mosquito Fleet, of the capture of Brashear City.

BRASHEAR CITY, June 26, 1863

GENERAL: I have the honor to report to you the result of the expedition placed under my command by your order June 20. In obedience to your order, I embarked my command, 325 strong, on the evening of June 22, at the mouth of Bayou Teche, in forty-eight skiffs and flats, collected for that purpose. Proceeding up the Atchafalaya into Grand Lake, I halted, and muffled oars and again struck, and, after a steady pull of about eight hours, reached the shore in the rear of Brashear City. Here, owing to the swampy nature of the country, we were delayed some time in finding a landing place; but at length succeeded, and about sunrise commenced to disembark my troops, the men wading out in water from 2 to 3 feet deep to the shore, shoving their boats into deep water as they left them. Thus cutting off all means of retreat, we could only fight and win. We were again delayed here a short time in finding a road, but succeeded at length in finding a trail that led us by a circuitous route through a palmetto swamp, some 2 miles across, through which I could only move in single file. About 5:30 we reached open ground in the rear of and in full view of Brashear City, about 800 yards distant. I here halted the command, and, after resting a few minutes, again moved on, under cover of a skirt of timber, until within 400 yards of the enemy's position, where I formed my men in order of battle. Finding myself discovered by the enemy, I determined to charge a once , and dividing my command into two columns, ordered the left (composed of Captains [J.P.] Clough, of [Thomas] Green's regiment, [Fifth Texas Cavalry]; [W. A.] McDade, of Waller's battalion; [J.T.] Hamilton, of [L.C.] Roundtree's battalion, and [J.D.] Blair, of Second Louisiana Cavalry) to charge the fort and camp below and to the left of the depot, and the right (composed of Captains [James H.] Price, [D. C.] Carrington, and [R.P.] Boyce, all of [G.W.] Baylor's Texas cavalry) to charge the fort and the sugar-house above and on the right of the depot; both columns to concentrate at the railroad buildings, at which point the enemy were posted in force and under good cover, each column having nearly the same distance to move, and would arrive simultaneously at the point of concentration. Everything being in readiness, the command was given, and the troops moved on with a yell. Being in full view, we were subjected to a heavy fire from the forts above and below, the gun at the sugar-house, and the gunboats below town, but, owing to the rapidity of our movements, it had but little effect. The forts made but a feeble resistance, and each column pressed on to the point of concentration, carrying everything before them. At the depot the fighting was severe, but of short duration, the enemy surrendering the town. My loss is 3 killed and 18 wounded; that of the enemy, 46 killed, 40 wounded, and about 1,300 prisoners. We have captured eleven 24 and 32 pounder siege guns; 2500 stand of small-arms (Enfield and Burnside rifles), and immense quantities of quartermaster's, commissary, and ordnance stores, some 2,000 negroes, and between 200 and 300 wagons and tents. I cannot speak too highly of the gallantry and good conduct of the officers and men under my command. All did their whole duty, and deserve alike equal credit from our country for our glorious and signal victory. I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,

SHEROD HUNTER, Major, Baylor's (Texas) Cavalry, Commanding Mosquito Fleet. Brig. Gen. Alfred Mouton, Commanding South Red River 

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