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[65] on the 28th of March, and from that time the command was in active service. The Confederates constantly retreated, frequently stopping to skirmish, but offering no serious resistance.

Natchitoches was reached on April 3, the cavalry division camping just outside the town where a halt of a day or two was made. On the 6th the march toward Shreveport was begun at daylight, the battery marching in the center of the division as reserve artillery. In addition to the troops there was a train of 200 wagons carrying ten days rations for the men, three days forage, ammunition, and camp equipage. General Lee's orders from General Franklin were ‘to attack the enemy wherever he could be found but not to bring on a general engagement.’ No enemy was seen that day. The next morning the march was renewed until on reaching Wilson's Farm, three miles from Pleasant Hill, a considerable Confederate force was found posted in the woods on a hill. An engagement ensued between the enemy and the third brigade with two sections of the Missouri and Illinois batteries. The resistance was so strong that the 1st Brigade was advanced as support, and with this, two sections of Nims' Battery. Owing to the dense woods the battery, although at the front, could not go into action and was ordered into position with the 4th Brigade, Colonel Dudley, in line of battle in the rear. With the aid of the reinforcements the enemy was forced to retreat slowly and Colonel Lee and his forces bivouacked five miles beyond the battlefield.

The next day came the terrible experience of Sabine Cross Roads or Mansfield as it is sometimes called, where the battery met with disaster for the first time.

On that day, April 8, the battery started in the advance— with the 1st Brigade, under Colonel Lucas, and a Brigade of the 4th division of the 13th Army Corps, Colonel Landram commanding, which had been sett forward during the night. Following this came the 4th Brigade Cavalry, Colonel Dudley

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