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d. On the 12th of April, Steele turned the enemy's left flank and the latter fled to Washington, followed by the cavalry sent by General Steele to make the enemy believe 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 corduroyed for miles, and several bridges constructed. During all this time the rearguard under General Thayer was subjected to numerous attacks by the Confederate General Dockray, who was always repulsed. Fighting their way foot 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 against any force the enemy could bring to bear. Steele was now only a hundred miles from Shreveport, and could 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 Con
Louis E. Fagan (search for this): chapter 43
al Price, and the combined forces were marching upon Steele's position. Under all the circumstances, with 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 marched towards Little Rock, by way of Princeton and Jenkins' Ferry, on the Sabine. On the 27th, a pontoon bridge was thrown across the Sabine at the latter point, and the army reached Little Rock, and it was learned that General Fagan, with fourteen pieces of artillery and a large force of infantry, was moving up the river to attack Little Rock. The combined forces of Confederates, under Price, made the attack, and were repulsed with great slaughter, losing a large part of their artillery and munitions of war. Steele held on for a few days longer to see if Price would make another attack, and then took up his line of march and joined the Army of the Tennessee. It does not require much military knowledge to see h
T. J. Walker (search for this): chapter 43
reached the fort in time to see the enemy evacuating it, and the Union soldiers taking possession. The fort was originally garrisoned with 5,000 men, under General Walker, who had marched out to meet the Federal Army, leaving 24 officers and 300 men to defend it; but, if Walker wished to meet Smith's forces, he was disappointedWalker wished to meet Smith's forces, he was disappointed, for the latter saw nothing of him. On his march from Simmsport, General Smith was greatly annoyed by sharp-shooters, and was compelled to bridge innumerable bayous. When he reached Monksville, within three miles of the fort, he was informed that a strong force of the enemy would dispute his passage. The 3d Indiana Battery wn, he urged Admiral Porter to push on at once with the force they then had, and try and get to Shreveport in advance of the main army. The Confederate general, Walker, had exhibited very little enterprise; for, with the 5,000 men under his command, he might have seriously impeded the Federal advance, and then at Fort De Russy h
John Scott (search for this): chapter 43
y Smith's exceptions, we are firm in our belief that the vessels were well managed, and whether the gun-boats were or were not efficient must be left to the reader to decide. As soon as the Admiral saw the troops well underway up river, he mounted his horse and proceeded to call on General Banks. As the Admiral entered the General's tent, he was reading by the light of a lamp. Admiral, said the General, you interrupted me in the most pleasing occupation of my life. I was just reading Scott's tactics. The Admiral could not help thinking that he should have read it before he went to Sabine Cross Roads. He told the General he was sorry he had been unsuccessful, and asking him what were his plans for the future, found him quite indignant at the idea of any one hinting that he had been beaten. Why, sir, he said, we gained a glorious victory, and sent the enemy flying in all directions! Then, what are you doing here, General? inquired the Admiral, This is not the road to Shrev
e 13th and 19th army corps, under Franklin and Emory, and a cavalry division of about 3,500 men, untwo officers of the regular army, Franklin and Emory, in command of divisions, but he seemed to ignons and forage of the mounted infantry. General Emory's corps got into action as the evening wasre enabled to re-form. It was, without doubt, Emory's corps that saved the day, and prevented the and rear. By the skillful manoeuvering of General Emory, the flanks of the two brigades now meetin line of the enemy retreated in disorder under Emory's fire, while fighting continued on the Federaeir position than to attempt a retreat. General Emory, in his official report, says: The enemy eir arduous labors of the following day. General Emory's and A. J. Smith's commands had entire poenemy's left. After some sharp fighting General Emory carried the enemy's position with a loss o driven back with loss. Up to the 25th, General Emory was kept busy in repulsing the numerous at[4 more...]
Watson Smith (search for this): chapter 43
ple the fleet as much as possible from the left bank. The Federals saw this party before reaching Conchatta Chute, and sending a few 11-inch shrapnel in their direction, they gave no more trouble for the time being; but it was considered certain that Harrison must plant his batteries three miles below Pleasant Hill Landing, which proved to be the case. To this latter point the Admiral dispatched one of the heaviest iron-clads and two gun-boats, mounting some ten guns, under Lieutenant-Commander Watson Smith, with orders to prevent the erection of any batteries until all the transports had passed; but Harrison, who could go across, while the gun-boats had to follow the long bends of the river, arrived first, and posted his guns on a high bluff in a dense undergrowth, where he could fire down upon the decks of the transports, and whence it was difficult to dislodge him. The Admiral was in the rear when he heard the firing commence, and he pushed ahead to superintend operations in
Robert G. Lee (search for this): chapter 43
He gave an order, through Franklin, directing Lee to proceed as far as possible on the night of the 7th and 8th of April, and on the latter date Lee reported by letter to General Franklin that theough the fighting commenced that afternoon, and Lee complained of a want of troops to keep from beich embarrassed; in other words, used up, and so Lee sent for another brigade. General Franklin prough the train, and they had to be abandoned. Lee was not to blame for having his division hampernions. Up to the time of Banks' arrival, General Lee considered Franklin in command; but when Lefantry. The cavalry and mounted infantry under Lee were posted on the flanks and rear, having Colortunity to redeem this error before reinforcing Lee and pushing the latter further into danger, thessigned this as a reason for not complying with Lee's request for reinforcements, and military crit Shreveport. Their first day's success against Lee's mounted men and meagre supports of infantry h[26 more...]
George M. Ransom (search for this): chapter 43
daylight next morning. General Franklin then ordered General Ransom to send a brigade, or a division if he saw fit. The br division would better carry out General Banks' views; but Ransom sent a brigade, with which General Lee was satisfied. N better. Colonel W. J. Landrum, commanding 4th brigade of Ransom's division, in a report to that officer, says: My men haved soon? General Lee insists on pushing ahead. When General Ransom arrived on the field he found the road obstructed by ts right and rear. As Banks came on the field, at 3 P. M., Ransom reported to him, and from that moment Banks became responsinfantry were assigned opposite to that recommended by General Ransom, and in a place in which they should never have been percantile Batteries had just arrived on the field, and General Ransom directed them to be placed near a house occupied as Bato send the greater part of his cavalry, together with General Ransom's command, which had been badly handled the day before
Montgomery Blair (search for this): chapter 43
t 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 on the transports, because it was never designed they should engage a powerful force from their steamers; ne while descending. For this reason, the next morning, April 12th, I lashed the transport Black Hawk on my starboard quarter, and by her assistance made the descent successfully, till late in the afternoon, when we grounded on the point opposite Blair's plantation. Our bow was therefore pointed down stream, and our starboard broadside opposite the right bank, which was 20 feet high and 100 yards distant. The transports had necessarily passed down, as my position was in the rear. Seeing my si
e field, leaving many of their dead, among them General Green, who had his head blown off. General Kilby Smith says, on offering Admiral Porter's letter to A. J. Smith, praising his conduct, for the inspection of the Committee on the conduct of the war: The Admiral was not thoroughly posted in regard to the battle I fought at Pleasant Hill Landing, because the data had not come in at the time. We left 700 of the enemy dead on the ground. Green was killed by a canister shot from a steel Rodman (3-inch), mounted on the hurricane-deck of the Emerald. Smith's report that he fought a battle is so positive, and Selfridge's report is so positive that the former was not in the fight, that it was difficult to reconcile the discrepancy. Selfridge, who was long under the Admiral's command, always made correct and matter-of-fact reports, giving to every one a due share of praise. We cannot see why he should act differently on this occasion. Unsolicited, the Admiral wrote in Kilby Smi
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