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Arkansas (Arkansas, United States) (search for this): chapter 43
was determined to start on this expedition regardless of consequences, Admiral Porter resolved to do every thing in his power to assist his military operations. To make his success certain, General Halleck had determined to send an army into Arkansas under General Steele. This force reached Little Rock early in March, and, after providing themselves with stores and munitions of war. departed from that place on the 24th. and, after a hard march, arrived at Arkadelphia. March 29th, where, fpoor figure beside Banks' well-equipped troops; but when it came to actual warfare, they were famous fighters. They were men who had lain for months in the trenches at Vicksburg, had gone through the hardships of Chickasaw Bayou, had helped win Arkansas Post, etc., etc.; yet when Banks first saw these veterans, he exclaimed, What, in the name of Heaven, did Sherman send me these ragged guerillas for? At Mansfield he found these ragged guerillas saved the day and the honor of his army! We ha
New England (United States) (search for this): chapter 43
lls. One of them, the Countess, having grounded, was burned by the enemy. The fleet had thus reached Alexandria on the 15th of March. two days earlier than had been promised General Banks. On the day following, there were nine gun-boats lying off the town, and one hundred and eighty sailors were landed, to occupy the place and take possession of any Confederate Government property that might be stored there. The inhabitants were respectfully treated, and everything was as quiet as a New England village. General Smith remained behind a few days to destroy the formidable works which he had captured, and a gun-boat was left at Fort De Russy to try some experiments with rifle-guns on three casemated water batteries covered with several thicknesses of railroad iron. A little experience satisfied the experimenters that such works could not resist the heavy naval artillery, and orders were given to blow them up; thus destroying the formidable barrier intended to close Red River aga
Pine Bluff (Arkansas, United States) (search for this): chapter 43
ecessary by boats on the Washita River. In fact, he could have held on here until Banks reached Mansfield. But at Camden some captured Confederate dispatches gave the information of Banks' backward movement, which was soon confirmed by other intelligence. On the 18th, a forage train sent out by Steele was captured by the enemy, the first disaster occurring during Steele's long march through a difficult country swarming with the enemy's troops. On the 20th, a supply train arrived from Pine Bluff and was sent back on the 22d, escorted by a brigade of infantry, four pieces of artillery, and a proper force of cavalry. On the 25th, news was received that the train had been captured and the colonel in command of the escort mortally wounded. Before this time the Confederates had learned that Banks had retreated to stay, and General Kirby Smith with 8,000 Confederates had joined General Price, and the combined forces were marching upon Steele's position. Under all the circumstances,
Mansfield (Louisiana, United States) (search for this): chapter 43
irst saw these veterans, he exclaimed, What, in the name of Heaven, did Sherman send me these ragged guerillas for? At Mansfield he found these ragged guerillas saved the day and the honor of his army! We have no doubt that when Banks saw his fit the Army had met with a reverse, and was falling back to Pleasant Hill, about fifteen miles from the battle-ground of Mansfield, and thirty-five miles from Nachitoches. This point was sixty miles distant, and the victorious enemy was between the get all the supplies necessary by boats on the Washita River. In fact, he could have held on here until Banks reached Mansfield. But at Camden some captured Confederate dispatches gave the information of Banks' backward movement, which was soon his transports and added to the strength of his artillery. The two armies could have been put in communication near Mansfield, one on each side of the Red River, and the Confederates would have retreated to Shreveport without resistance. As i
Mississippi (Mississippi, United States) (search for this): chapter 43
e credit justly due that officer. He must leave it to him and to Captain Selfridge to settle between them the facts of the case The Admiral having conferred with the latter officer recently, and shown him the report of General Smith, of which he has never before seen or heard, the annexed letter will speak for itself: Newport, R. I., June 2d, 1880. Admiral D. D. Porter, Washington, D. C. Dear Sir: Fifteen years have elapsed since the fatal repulse of a portion of the rebel trans-Mississippi forces under their General Green, by the gun-boats Osage and Lexington of your fleet, and for the first time I have learned of the report of General Kilby Smith, before the Committee upon the conduct of the war, in which he claims for the transports under his command the principal merit of the victory. The fight took place at what was known as Blair's plantation, and in saying it was essentially a gun-boat fight, no reflection is cast upon the portion of A. J. Smith's division embarked
Wallace's Lake (Louisiana, United States) (search for this): chapter 43
y Banks should require 900 for 30,000 men, who could sleep out of doors all the time much more comfortably than in tents, no man can tell. Had Banks understood the art of war, he would have ordered his trains to be parked when he saw that a battle was imminent. It was not the intention of the enemy to bring on an engagement at the time it took place, but rather to draw the Federal troops as far into the interior as possible, and away from the gun-boats, into the marshes and bayous at Wallace's Lake, between Mansfield and Shreveport. In this difficult region the troops would have been entangled in swamps, and would have had to corduroy the roads for miles to get the trains along. Had Banks been satisfied to let the cavalry go in advance, clearing the roads of outposts, and reporting the presence of the enemy's main body when they encountered it, all might have turned out well; but it appears he never gave himself much concern about the management of the Army until it was defeate
Columbia, La. (Louisiana, United States) (search for this): chapter 43
iles apart, and Steele's army had to make slow marches on account of bad roads and the difficulty of obtaining supplies. Hence it was impossible for them to move in harmony as regards time, and next to impossible for one to notify the other of any detention that might occur. The whole idea was in violation of the rule of war that two armies co-operating with each other should be in constant communication. This co-operation might easily have been effected if Steele had marched to Columbia, La., through a much better country than the one he passed through. On arriving at Columbia, he would have been within eighty miles of General Banks, and could have been supplied with stores by way of the Washita River, where the gun-boats could have protected his transports and added to the strength of his artillery. The two armies could have been put in communication near Mansfield, one on each side of the Red River, and the Confederates would have retreated to Shreveport without resist
Camden, Ark. (Arkansas, United States) (search for this): chapter 43
diverge from the main road to Shreveport--one going to Washington, the other to Camden. Here some artillery firing took place which lasted until nightfall. After daieve the army was following in their rear, instead of which it took the road to Camden. Much time was spent in crossing the Terre Rouge bottom, which had to be cordut by foot, with the Confederate forces in front and rear, Steele's army entered Camden on the 15th and found the place strongly fortified, so as to be impregnable aga. In fact, he could have held on here until Banks reached Mansfield. But at Camden some captured Confederate dispatches gave the information of Banks' backward moh no hope of being joined by Banks, General Steele wisely concluded to evacuate Camden and fall back. On the night of April 26th the army crossed the Washita and md River, up the Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers, thence via Little Rock to Camden, Arkansas, a distance of over five hundred miles. A messenger was sent accordingly,
Atchafalaya River (Louisiana, United States) (search for this): chapter 43
he logs resting on the bottom. Finally, a forest of trees had been cut from the banks and floated down upon the piles, making an apparently impassable obstruction. When the Admiral found the character of these obstructions, he feared that they would delay the vessels so long that the enemy would escape from Fort De Russy, and destroy all their stores and munitions of war. General Smith and he agreed, therefore, that it was best to land the troops: so the Admiral turned off into the Atchafalaya River with the Benton, Lexington, Chillicothe, Louisville, Mound City, Carondelet, Ouichita, Pittsburg, and Gazelle, followed by the troops in transports; while the rest of the gun-boats pushed on up Red River, with instructions to remove the obstructions, but not to attack Fort De Russy until the flagship's arrival, or until General Smith's troops came in sight. The enemy had at this place some 5,000 men, and the only chance of capturing them was by a combined movement of the Army and Na
Arkadelphia (Arkansas, United States) (search for this): chapter 43
ed to send an army into Arkansas under General Steele. This force reached Little Rock early in March, and, after providing themselves with stores and munitions of war. departed from that place on the 24th. and, after a hard march, arrived at Arkadelphia. March 29th, where, for the present. we will leave them. General Banks had informed the Admiral that he would march an army of 36,000 men to Alexandria, La.. and would meet him at that place on the 17th of March. On the 10th of March thhstanding this conversation, he commenced intrenching and fortifying his camp on the 16th inst. We must now turn to General Steele's movements. On the 1st of April, General Steele's army, which was intended to co-operate with Banks, was at Arkadelphia, waiting for General Thayer to join it. The same day, the army moved fourteen miles to Campte, and thence to Washington. Near the latter place it encountered the Confederate Generals, Marmaduke and Cabell, with a good-sized force, and, after
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