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[43] and reached to the swamps south of the bayou. All this territory for 50 miles west of the Missississippi is an impassable network of swamps and lakes, but there is a road from Brashear City to Alexandria and along this road lay the line of advance to Red River. Early in January expeditions had been organized for the purpose of moving up Red River but it had been found impossible to make a way through the swamps and bayous, and it was thought necessary to abandon the project. About this time information was received that the Confederates had captured on Red River the ram Queen of the West, and the gunboat De Soto which had run past the batteries at Vicksburg and descended the river.

Farragut determined at once to patrol the river above Port Hudson with his vessels and requested Banks to make a demonstration against the fortification while he ran past the batteries.

Banks having assembled his forces at Baton Rouge, on March 13 the whole force broke camp and marched toward Port Hudson, the right and center sections with the divisions of Generals Grover and Emery on the Port Hudson Road and the left with General Auger's division on the Clinton Road. The next day Farragut with his fleet started up the river. The land forces did not get near enough to the works to use their artillery very effectively, though one section of the 2d Massachusetts was sent within shelling distance of the Confederate works and fired 50 round of shell into them.

We quote the following from an article in the Boston Journal written by C. B. Maxwell.

The army having halted and camped for the night the sergeants of the first and third detachments came to our quarters and quietly told the drivers and cannoneers not to “turn in.” “You will be wanted before midnight,” they said. “We are going out on the road and we may have some fun.” So about 10 P. M. we were told in whispers to “hitch ”

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