At 6 A. M. we started for the advance, marched three miles and came upon a large force of the enemy under Dick Taylor. Two brigades of the 13th Army Corps were sent to us as reinforcements and formed a line of battle, acting as skirmishers. The enemy commenced slowly falling back but closely contending every inch of ground, and in this way we drove them ten miles. At Sabine Cross Roads the enemy made a stand in the woods before which was a clearing of some 75 acres where our cavalry manoeuvred. The enemy was very strongly reinforced at this point. At the extreme front was a hill 50 yards in diameter upon which our six guns were placed. The 4th Brigade of cavalry was on our left with two of the 6th Missouri Howitzers. About three o'clock General Banks and his staff arrived. General Lee, on seeing General Banks dismount, saluted and said: “I am confident, General, that we have a powerful force in front and if we make the attack I am confident we shall be repulsed.” General Banks made no reply, but it was noticed he looked serious. All the staff officers with those of General Lee were sent hurriedly to right, left and rear. About 4 P. M. General Banks' chief of staff rode along our left to where the third piece stood and said to me (Maxwell), “Call your men, load your gun and point it down the road. If you see anyone crossing where the road enters the wood, open fire. Don't wait for further orders.” In less than fifteen minutes the enemy were sneaking across the road and the third detachment obeyed orders. The battle was on. We soon discovered men coming out of the woods much nearer than those down the road, so we fired to the front and right until they came to point-blank range and then we fed it to
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