March 22, 1864
Skirmish at Langley's Plantation
Issaquena County, Miss
Report of Major William S. Aken, Fifty-first U. S. Colored Infantry
Camp Fifty-First Regiment U. S. Infantry (Colored)
Goodrich's Landing, La., March 26, 1864
I have the honor to submit the following report of an expedition sent out under my command from this point on the 22nd instant: I embarked with three companies of the Fifty-first U. S. Infantry (colored), and one company of the Sixty-sixth U. S. Infantry (colored), at about 4 p. m. on that day, on board a tug lying at this place, with instructions from Colonel Frohock to attempt the capture of a party of guerrillas said to be raiding the plantations on the Mississippi side of the river, 5 miles below this point. Immediately upon debarking I marched into the country back of the river 2 1/2 miles to Dr. Langley's plantation, where I expected to find the enemy, arriving there about 6 p. m.
While on the march, about dusk, I discovered a force coming toward me on the road, and I immediately threw my men in ambush behind a house and back of the levee, and awaited their approach. The enemy had a few men in advance, with the main force in the rear, driving between 40 and 50 mules and a wagon loaded with provisions and stores, just captured from a plantation leased by Slater and Perkins. As they came in front my men fired and killed the man in advance, who appeared to be an officer, and also a negro guide, and wounded 4 or 5 others. The remainder wheeled and broke in confusion, retreating into the woods.
Owing to the hastiness of one of my men in firing before ordered, the surprise was not as complete as could have been wished. I captured all the mules and provisions, which I returned to the owners, took 4 horses belonging to the enemy, 1 Sharps carbine, and 2 colt revolvers. Three shotguns were also captured, but were so injured as to be worthless.
After the affray I deployed one company as skirmishers and started in pursuit, for a mile or more, when, darkens coming on, I encamped for the night.
At daybreak in the morning I started on my return, and, marching 8 miles to a point opposite Goodrich's Landing, returned to camp about 9 a. m. on the 24th instant. The captured horses I was obliged to leave on the other side of the river for the want of transportation across.
William S. Aken,