above the common level, which mound, we named Magnolia Hill, on account of that growth covering it. Some towering Poplar trees also grow here, all that I ever saw.
Our object, in this expedition, was to be near enough for a reserve for Gen. [Thomas] Green's Command, which was going to attack a Federal force across the Atchafalya [Atchafalaya] Bayou, which attack was successful without our assistance; capturing several hundred prisoners, who passed at this place.
From here, we again passed the village of Big Cane, progressed in a southerly direction several miles, then filing to the right, we intersected the road leading from Cherryville [Cheneyville] to Washington, on Bayou Beoff [Boeuf]. Our object being to intercept Gen. Franklin, U.S.A., in his progress in that direction. We camped several days, a short distance above Washington, on the bayou, daily expecting an engagement. The Cavalry were skirmishing continually, but to our surprise, after the expiration of a week, we took up the line of march in retreat in the direction of Cherryville. We stopped, however, some distance before reaching that place, and sent a Reg't back, as picket, toward our old camp on the bayou.
On Oct. 26th 1863, if I am not mistaken, our Reg't was on the outpost, and not apprehending much danger, as soldiers generally are -- a few of us were off at a sugar mill, a short way from camp, when some were suddenly impressed that we should return to camp; on returning, we found Col. King in the saddle, watching in the direction of the enemy. We were very soon ordered into line, and placed across the road. Very soon, Gen. Walker came at full speed, and in a short time, the entire army came, and from all appearances, it seemed that we soon would be engaged in battle, but to our utter astonishment, at 2:00 o'clock, we again took up the march in retreat, in the direction of Cherryville [Cheneyville], in such haste, that when we met our rations which were cooked, and started to us on a wagon, we were not allowed to stop to eat, but snatched up something in haste, and resumed the march again, which was continuous, until 11:00 o'clock that night, when we halted for the remainder of the night, upon the bank of Bayou Beoff [Boeuf].
Here, an incident occurred that was amusing -- in these bayous, there is a weed grows, called Yankipin, (if I am not mistaken in the name). They grow in the bottom, or bed of the creek, and it matters not the depth, the stalk will grow in proportion, and put forth one leaf, which lies flat upon the sufface of the water. It resembles a gourd leaf. These frequently cover the entire surface of the water. After halting, as stated above, John Freeman, a member of our Company, went to the bayou for water, and seeing a place he supposed to be a second bank or bench, he leaped off, and to his astonishment, he found himself in water neck deep. The night was cold and frosty, and ever after that, he did not believe in immersion. Another soldier, Jimmy Knox, Co. A, I afterwards learned, happened to the same accident.
Next morning, we resumed the march, and continued it to Cherryville [Cheneyville].
Our Reg't., the 18th, the 11th Infantry and 15th dismounted Cavalry,
however, did not remain there but one night, but retraced our steps
down the bayou, a distance of twenty five or thirty miles, as picket.