t ardent in spirit.
Our gunners handled their pieces with coolness and precision.
By this time the rear guard was getting hurried.
Alexandria, in the retreat from Mansfield, had been burned.
The burning of the town was stoutly ascribed by the Federals to accident.
After doing this mischief the enemy attempted to leave the city by the Bayou Boeuf road.
Here stood Polignac to check them.
Foiled on that road they repeated the effort on the Red river road.
On May 15th Wharton was at Marksville to fight them.
At this point ensued a brilliant cannonade which resembled war. Polignac, still with Mouton's superb but now skeleton division, found it impossible to stop the retreat of four brigades supported by a detachment of the Thirteenth army corps.
While he remained, however, he held his ground sturdily, withdrawing only when it suited him—true Frenchman that he was—with drums beating and fifes playing a fanfare of defiance.
From this on the Federals constantly retreated and co