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assist in this naval attack. It was thought that his talents and experience as an engineer officer, and his personal knowledge of the localities and defensive works of Charleston harbor, rendered him peculiarly suited for this duty; but not proving acceptable to the Commanding General of the department, he was permitted to return to his command in the Carolina, leaving his troops and siege preparations in the Department of the South. The naval attack on Fort Sumter took place on the seventh of April; but being unsuccessful, nothing, apparently, remained to be done by the land forces. A siege of Charleston and its defences by land had never been attempted, and, therefore, was on part of the plan. It was now represented by the Navy Department that a second attack upon Fort Sumter and Charleston was preparing, and that its success required the military occupation of Morris Island, and the establishment of land batteries on that island, to assist in the reduction of Fort Sumter.
ccupied by our forces without opposition. The works deserted. Lieutenant Commander Phelps captured one thirty-two pounder on the river, below Grand Ecore, which he destroyed, making twenty-two guns captured from the enemy since we entered the river. The army had arrived at Natchitoches, near Grand Ecore, when I got up here, and was preparing for an immediate march. As the river was rising very slowly, I would not risk the larger vessels by taking them higher up, but started on the seventh of April for Shreveport, with the Cricket, Fort Hindman, Lexington, Osage, Neosho, and Chillicothe, with the hope of getting the rest of the vessels along when the usual rise came. Twenty transports were sent along, filled with army stores, and with a portion of General A. J. Smith's division on board. It was intended that the fleet should reach Springfield Landing on the third day, and then communicate with the army, a portion of which expected to be at Springfield at that time. I found the
s a plateau, and as it rises as high perhaps as fifty feet, the people have taken advantage of the fact, and called it Pleasant Hill. Against this point it was determined to march. We knew that the rebel army was in that direction, and it was not at all unlikely that they would make a stand and show us battle. The army marched accordingly — Lee leading the advance, moving slowly with his cavalry, and followed as rapidly as possible by the infantry divisions of General Ransom. By Thursday, April seventh, the whole army was in motion, and the advance was nearing Pleasant Hill. General Banks broke camp, and with his staff and a small escort rode to the front. Before him were two thirds of his army; behind him, the remainder, under General Smith, and composed of many of the bravest veterans in Grant's army, was marching rapidly. We had not ridden more than ten miles when the rain began to fall. It continued to fall, and for the remainder of the day we had a storm of unusual fury.