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[55]

On the 17th of September another movement began toward the interior of Louisiana. The object of this entire movement was to divert the enemy from Banks' expedition into Texas which he was about to undertake. Accordingly he ordered the command of which the battery was a part to advance under Gen. C. C. Washburne from Brashear City to Opelousas, to give the impression that a march to Alexandria or Shreveport was begun. The battery left New Orleans on September 18 and the next day reached Brashear City, which had been evacuated by the Confederates in July after securing about 1000 prisoners together with supplies valued at $2,000,000. A week later an advance was made to Bisland and then on to Opelousas, which was reached October 24. All along the advance, skirmishing and fighting occurred almost every day, and in it all the battery did its part most creditably. At Indian Bend, October 2, the left and center divisions, which were in the advance, met the enemy and drove them back. Two days later at Vermillion Bayou the same sections forced the enemy once more to fall back. Again the right section at Vermillion Bayou contended with the enemy for a ford for over three hours, driving them completely from their position. Again we read in our diaries: ‘The right and center moved forward with the advance cavalry came in sight of the enemy's camp. They retired leaving for us a good dinner of beef steak, sweet potatoes, and corn cake all piping hot. Pieces of our shell picked up near camp fires about two miles away.’ Two days later,— ‘Just at dusk, the enemy advanced on our pickets. A section of the battery was sent for, hitched up with a will, crossed the plains on a gallop and in 18 minutes from the time the first order was given we had gained the distance and commenced firing. Time taken by Colonel Molineaux.’

October 15. ‘The enemy came out on the open plain, drew themselves up in line of battle and commenced firing on ’

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