I suppose our Reg't. was quartered in the Star sugar mill, where we remained three or four days, when at one hour by sun in the afternoon, we received orders to march, forthwith -- traveled until 11:00 o'clock that night, and next morning were again early on the march, which was pressed until night, when we camped, and lay down to sleep, but were aroused at 11:00 o'clock, and resumed the march, which we continued until near daylight. During the night, we passed through the towns of Washington and Opalousas [Opelousas]. After daylight, which was Nov. 3, 1863, we resumed the march, continued up till 10:00 o'clock, when we halted for a short time, drew ammunition, and ate a lunch, the last that many a poor soldier of our line ever had the pleasure of eating -- many a one, who then relished his lunch, lay still in death before the sun went down, causing the heart of a fond Mother, sister or wife to bleed.
[The following engagement is now known as the Battle of Bayou Bourbeux, Grand Coteau, Louisiana]
While here, Gen. [Thomas] Green gave Col. O. M. Roberts the order of battle in the presence of the Brigade, which were to charge the enemy, as soon as we were within one hundred yards of their line, and his words were -- "D--n them, they will retire". We knew that, unless the enemy retreated, the charge was inevitable, consequently, there were many pale faces and palpitating hearts. After getting our ammunition, we were ordered forward. Scarcely a word was spoken by the men, after we began the march, each silently thinking of the anticipated battle. We stopped a short distance from the enemy to rest.
While here, the army took a panic at some noise, and scattered in all directions -- some ran through a bois d'arc hedge. Just at this time, Gen. Green came along, and said, "Men, you must not run"; and offered some cheering words, among others he said, "Show them the blood of your Mothers". We were already in hearing of the picket firing. As soon as we had passed the hedge on our left, we filed in that direction, until we reached a skirt of woods, which would protect us until we neared the enemy's camp.
Before reaching the wood, however, the skirmish line shot a young man through, in our Reg't., named Bud Greer, from Sulphur Springs, Tex. After reaching the wood, we were thrown a line of battle, marching in the same direction, as before leaving the hedge. Our Reg't. occupied the center, Col. Harrison [James Edward Harrison, 15th Texas] the right and the 11th [11th Texas], commanded by Lieut. Col. [James H.] Jones, the left.
The skirt of timber being too narrow to shelter the entire command, consequently they crowded towards the center, almost crushing our Reg't. Having arrived at a small branch, we were permitted to stop, rest and drink. Here several stalwart men fainted. On resuming the march, Col. King informed Col. Roberts that we were too much crowded, hoping that he would remove the difficulty, but to the astonishment of all, the old Col. replied, "Just let me give one command, forward, forward, forward, march!"
On the march, the men would stoop, when the shells would pass over us, whereupon Col. Roberts would cry out "They will not hurt you, my men". Then after a moment's reflection, he would add, "Provided they don't hit you". We had sufficient evidence that they would hurt -- Jesse Steelman, of our Company, was struck on the head by a piece of shell, and knocked down -- he was just in front of me. I stepped around him, thinking he was dead, but after going a few steps, I looked around, and saw that he was only wounded. After rising the hill fully, from the branch spoken of above, the enemy poured a deadly fire into our ranks, killing and wounding many, and almost made the balance recoil. Had they