- Banks in New Orleans -- Porter's fleet in the Mississippi -- captures Fort De Ruasy -- our army and fleet advance to Alexandria -- both move up Red river -- Banks presses on toward Shreveport -- Col. Gooding's fight -- our advance routed by Kirby Smith at Sabine Cross-roads -- Emory checks the Rebel pursuit at Pleasant Grove -- fierce and indecisive battle at Pleasant Hill -- Banks retreats to Grand Ecore -- Porter works and fights his way down the river -- Banks fights and drives Bee at Cane river -- return of army and fleet to Alexandria -- Lt. Col. Bailey engineers our vessels over the rapids -- Union loss of three vessels at Dunn's Bayou -- Texas coast nearly abandoned -- Banks retreats to Simmsport -- fight at Mansura -- Cotton operations on Red river -- Steele's advance from little Rock -- fight at Prairie d'anne -- Steele enters Camden -- Union disaster at Marks's Mills -- Steele retreats -- attacked by Kirby Smith at Jenkins's Ferry -- Rebels repulsed -- Steele, burning his trains, escapes to little Rock -- Gen. Carr worsts Shelby at St. Charles -- Col. Brooks fights Dobbins at Big Cree's -- Shelby captures the 54th Illinois -- Union State Convention in Arkansas -- Steele's inefficiency -- Rosecrans in command in Missouri -- arrests the Chiefs of the sons of liberty -- Price's last invasion -- Hugh Ewing withstands him at pilot Knob -- retreats to Rolla -- Rebel uprising -- Price threatens St. Louis -- appears before Jefferson City -- Gen. Mower follows him from Arkansas -- Rebels capture Glasgow -- Price at Lexington -- fights Blunt on the little Blue -- fights Curtis on the Big Blue -- escapes southward, by little Santa Fe -- Pleasanton routs him on the little Osage -- Blunt routs him at Newtonia -- Curtis chases him to Fayetteville, Ark.
Gen. Banks was in New Orleans, intent on further operations against Texas by way of Galveston and the sea-coast, when he received1 a dispatch from Halleck, prescribing (or, as Halleck says, “suggesting” ) a totally different plan of campaign. Its line of operations was the Red river; its object, the capture of Shreveport, with the rout and dispersion of Kirby Smith's army, culminating in the recovery of Texas and a boundless supply of cotton for our mills and for ex-port. To this end, Admiral Porter, with a strong fleet of iron-clads and transports, was to embark at Vicksburg, 10,000 of Sherman's old army under Gen. A. J. Smith, and move with them up Red river, capturing by the way Fort de Russy, removing all impediments, and meeting at Alexandria Gen. Banks, who, with his 15,000 to 17,000 disposable men, was to march overland from the Atchafalaya to the designated point of junction; while Gen. Steele, with the bulk (15,000) of his Arkansas force, was to move on Shreveport directly from Little Rock. In other words: we were to threaten Shreveport with 40,000 men, so disposed that the enemy, with a compact, mobile force of 25,000, might fight them all in turn with superior numbers, and so cut them up in detail. It was a very old blunder, so often repeated in our struggle that none could plead ignorance of its oft-tested and certain effect; but braying in a mortar would be effective only with those who do not need it. Had Steele's men been brought down the Arkansas in boats, and added to Banks's and Smith's forces, the issue must almost certainly have been different. But Gen. Steele's demonstration, though designed to be simultaneous and cooperative with Banks's, was entirely independent2 while Gen. Smith's quota was only loaned to Banks for a brief period, and was subject to recall in entire disregard of his authority. Had such a movement missed failing, it would have been a disparagement of good generalship evermore. Banks's own force was to have moved from Franklin on the 7th of March, so as to be at Alexandria on the 17th: but the General was busy at New Orleans, and intrusted the immediate command of his force to Gen. Franklin; who was not ready to start till the 13th, and had not fully reached Alexandria till the 25th; though his cavalry advance, under Gen. A. L. Lee, had arrived on the 19th.