Today in History:

52 Series I Volume XLVIII-I Serial 101 - Powder River Expedition Part I


what disposition was made of them. This report you will forward to these headquarters at the earliest possible date, with copies of all orders and instructions directing the expedition.

By command of Brigadier-General Cameron:


Assistant Adjutant-General.

Numbers 3. Report of Captain Orin A. Avery, Third Rhode Island Cavalry. CAMP OF THIRD RHODE ISLAND CAVALRY,

Post Napoleonville, La., January 20, 1865.

ADJUTANT: I have the honor respectfully to report that, in obedience to orders from the colonel commanding, at 2 a. m., on the 18th instant, with Companies B, I, and K, Third Rhode Island Cavalry, I proceeded from camp up the bayou as far as Ford's plantation. I then sent Lieutenant Clapp with fifteen men, turning to the left, going to a point on Grande Bayou where the draw bridge was recently burned, to stop all communication from Madam Labarre's to Bayou Corn. I took the remainder of the command and proceeded up the bayou as far as Martin's Lane, to the left; down Martin's Lane to Grande Bayou, arriving at Madam Labarre's at 6 a. m. It was with the utmost difficulty that I was enabled to reach that point in consequence of the roads, which were almost impassable. I got all of the command safely across the bayou at 8. 30 a. m., but under great difficulty, the bayou was so much obstructed with driftwood and snags. I joined Lieutenant Clapp about three miles down on the opposite side of the bayou, and proceeded from there to Bayou Corn, arriving there at 11 o'clock. I had the command across Bayou Corn at 3 p. m., but was obliged to send back considerable distance for sugar coolers with which to cross the bayou. From there I proceeded to Bayou Pierre Pass, arriving there at 6 p. m. I formed my command in line of battle, and took Lieutenant Clapp and twelve men, crossing Bayou Pierre Pass a little after 6, leaving the remainder of the force under command of Captain Pomroy. I was obliged to cross the bayou a second time in order to reach the point that I wished. From there I sent Lieutenant Clapp with four men to the house of Pierre Herbert, where Victorine Trahan and one other Confederate soldier were supposed to be stopping. Lieutenant Clapp ordered the house to be surrounded, instructing the guard to challenge any ing from the house, and if the challenges were unanswered to fire. The lieutenant and the guide were running around a pint of the house when the guard challenged him. Receiving no response, he challenged a second time. Still getting no answer, he fired, the ball striking Lieutenant Clapp in the forehead, killing him instantly. Owing to the darkness that prevailed it was impossible to discern faces or forms at any distance and the shooting of Lieutenant Clapp was purely accidental. When I instructed Lieutenant Clapp to surround Pierre Herbert's I proceeded myself, with four men, to another house, where a brother of Pierre Herbert resided, but discovered nothing whatever. On returning I met Lieutenant Clapp's party, who had left the body of the, which I brought with me, and crossed to Bayou Corn, and