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Admiral David D. Porter, The Naval History of the Civil War., Chapter 41: the Red River expedition, under Major-General N. P. Banks, assisted by the Navy under Rear-Admiral David D. Porter. (search)
ave been in as compact a condition as could have been possible and the final result would have been different. Banks had probably never heard of the old rule, Choose your own ground, and let the enemy attack you. At all events, he went directly contrary to the maxim; but even then he would have been successful had he waited a day longer. Banks had two officers of the regular army, Franklin and Emory, in command of divisions, but he seemed to ignore them until he got hard pushed. General C. P. Stone, his chief-of-staff, was a clever officer, but he set aside his opinions. He allowed the enemy to bring on a battle on ground over which the Army would have to pass by a narrow road through a pine forest, filled with a dense undergrowth, with no room to handle men, much less to have a dress parade of army wagons. The Army could only march in very narrow columns. General Banks cannot say he did not know the position of the Army when he brought on this battle, for Franklin had expl