north of Red river
, between Col. O. P. Gooding
's brigade of 1,500 cavalry and a Rebel force under Harrison
, wherein Gooding
came out ahead, stimulated the pervading eagerness to advance.
“Forward” was the word, and Natchitoches
was left behind on the 6th: Gen. A. L. Lee
, with the cavalry, in the van; next, Gen. Ransom
, with two thin divisions of the 13th corps; then Gen. Emory
, with the 1st division of the 19th corps and a Black brigade: the whole advance immediately commanded by Gen. W. B. Franklin
; Gen. A. J. Smith
, with part of the 16th corps, followed next morning; but, as the iron-clads had been unavoidably left behind, a division of the 17th corps, 2,500 strong, under Gen. T. Kilby Smith
, was guarding the transports creeping up the river, under orders to halt and communicate with the army at Loggy bayou
, half way to Shreveport
left Grand Ecore
on the morning of the 7th, reaching the van at Pleasant Hill
A rain that day, which had greatly retarded the rear of our extended column, had not reached its front.
found that Lee
had that afternoon had a sharp fight with a body of Rebels; worsting and driving them 9 miles to St. Patrick's bayou, where our van halted for the night.
Our loss in this affair was 62 men.
pushed on at daybreak next morning; driving the enemy three miles farther to Sabine Cross-roads, , three miles below Mansfield
, where he encountered the Rebel
“ Army of the trans-Mississippi,” under Kirby Smith
, Dick Taylor
, and Green
, numbering not less than 20,000 men. Here Banks
, reaching our front at 1 1/2 P. M., found our men in line of battle, the skirmishers hotly engaged; the main body of the foe hidden in pine woods behind the crest of a hill, across which ran the only road to Shreveport
had passed Franklin
some miles back, and had ordered him to send forward a brigade of infantry and close up to the front; and he now sent back to hurry him up. Gen. Ransom
, with a single brigade of infantry, had already come up when Banks
was ordered to hold his ground, but not attempt to advance.
Messenger after messenger was sent back to hurry Franklin
; the skirmishing growing gradually hotter; until, at 4 1/2 P. M., the Rebels
having, in overwhelming force, out-flanked our handful on both wings, made a grand charge, which was gallantly resisted; but the odds were tree or four to one, and our front recoiled from the field wherein their line was formed to the woods this side, losing heavily.
It was now 5 P. M. Gen. Franklin
had come up, with Gen. Cameron
's (3d) division of the 13th corps, and a new and somewhat stronger line was formed; which the exulting foe at once flanked and charged, crushing it back in spite of its desperate resistance.
And now the narrow, winding forest-road was found so choked with the supply-train of Lee
's division that any orderly retreat became impossible, and 10 of Ransom
's guns were lost, with perhaps 1,000 prisoners, including Col. Emerson
, 67th Indiana. Gens. Franklin
, and Col. Robinson
, 3d cavalry brigade, were wounded, and Col.