A correspondent of the Lacon Illinois Gazette
, belonging to the Seventy-seventh Illinois regiment, furnished the facts relative to the following battles on Red River
, in which his regiment was reduced from four hundred to one hundred and fifty-three men:
We marched from Natchitoches
on the sixth instant.
On the evening of the seventh, we reached a small village called Pleasant Hill
, the road winding through heavy pine timber.
While at Pleasant Hill
, General Lee
, who commands the cavalry of the expedition, sent word back that he had had quite a skirmish with the enemy, losing thirty-five in killed and wounded, and that he had driven them eight miles, where they made a stand, from which he was unable to dislodge them with his cavalry, and asking for infantry.
objected, saying: “Remain in camp here until General Smith
comes up, and then move on them in force.”
It was evident to him that the enemy would make a successful stand, but Generals Banks
thought differently, and ordered Colonel Landrum
, who commanded the Fourth division of the Thirteenth army corps, to take the First brigade of his division and start at three in the morning, and assist General Lee
in dislodging the enemy.
At three o'clock, General Lee
started, meeting the enemy some eight miles from Pleasant Hill
, routing him and following him in line of battle for about eight miles further, skirmishing with him the entire distance.
Here we lost the gallant and brave Lieutenant-Colonel Webb
, of the Seventy-seventh Illinois, who was shot dead while leading his men on the enemy's rear-guard. Eight miles from Pleasant Hill
, and four from Mansfield
, we came to a large plantation which was undulating and surrounded by heavy timber, but on the further side the belt was narrow and opened into another plantation of smaller size.
Before we entered the first plantation, the Second brigade came up to the assistance of the First, and the Nineteenth regiment was thrown forward as skirmishers, and Nim
's Massachusetts battery posted on an eminence, from which they shelled the opposite woods something like a mile distant.
The enemy soon left his position, although it was a very good one.
We advanced the Fourth division to the timber on the opposite side of the field, and sent back for the Third division, General Cameron
commanding, and for the Chicago
Mercantile battery and First Indiana battery, both under charge of Captain White
, Chief of Artillery
detachment Thirteenth army corps.
After gaining the opposite side of the field, we halted, and the fatigued men of the Fourth division lay down to take some rest, as they had marched sixteen miles, one half the time in line of battle and through the woods.
's battery was then put in position on the Shreveport
Near the left of the road all was quiet, skirmishing having ceased, excepting once in a while a shot either from rebel or Federal.
Here Generals Franklin
came on the field.
, of Ball's Bluff notoriety, (who, by the way, is on General Banks
's staff,) had been in the front all the morning.
was also present with his cavalry.
came up and was ordered to advance his line.
Before doing so, he told General Banks
it would bring on an engagement, which he thought it prudent to avoid at that time, but advised