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On another occasion Sergeant Lincoln and Privates Carter and Wilkins were on picket duty on the Port Hudson Road. Lincoln and Carter were fired on, their horses killed and Carter badly wounded. He dragged himself through the woods to a house where he was put into a wagon and brought to camp. Lincoln was stripped of his equipments and let go.

The records during this period show that a soldier's life meant good hard work—even if fighting was not going on. Battery drill, gun drill, marching drill—all these filled the days and brought the battery to the highest degree of efficiency. One drill consisted of flying movements, dismounting and mounting guns and carriages, slinging guns under the limber, etc., and was nicknamed by the boys ‘break-neck drill.’ Accidents were rare, however. Captain Nims invented new signals for the use of his men so that the enemy might not know what orders were being given. Washington's Birthday was observed by a grand artillery review by Captain Closson, chief of artillery, and by raising a large flag across the camp ground.

The most important duty entrusted to General Banks at this time was an advance up the Mississippi against Port Hudson, cooperating with Grant in his movement against Vicksburg. Bank's force, however, was not strong enough to carry the works and he therefore turned his attention to reducing the fortification by other means.

1Port Hudson drew its supplies mainly from Western Louisiana and Texas by way of the Red River. If this river could be reached and held, these supplies could be cut off and communication could be opened with Grant near Vicksburg. The Confederates held Alexandria as their chief point of defense but they extended their outposts as far as the railroad from New Orleans to Brashear City. Another earthwork known as Fort Bisland was on the Bayou Teche

1 See The Mississippi: F. V. Greene.

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