line of retreat lay across the prairie, but about twelve miles from Brownsville
the road passed through a neck of timber, and it was arranged that the main body should be concealed in this timber, and that Marmaduke
should draw the enemy's advance into an engagement, induce it to charge into the timber and give the main body an opportunity either to capture or disperse it. Marmaduke
performed his part, but General Walker
did not stop nor leave a man in the timber, and Marmaduke
came near being captured instead of capturing the Federal
At Bayou Two Prairie
the enemy gave over the pursuit and went into camp, while Marmaduke
continued his march and joined the main body in camp at Reid
's bridge on Bayou Meto
late at night.
and Bayou Prairie
are about twelve miles apart, with no water for a cavalry command between them.
is a low, sluggish stream, with a miry bed and abrupt banks, and the sides are fringed with a heavy growth of timber.
For several days Davidson
's and Marmaduke
's commands skirmished with each other.
was in command, but never appeared at the front.
His headquarters were some two miles back from Bayou Meto
, in a brick church and school-house.
On the fifth day, however, the Federals
advanced in earnest, determined to secure ground for a camp on Bayou Meto
A substantial bridge spanned the bayou, which had been prepared for destruction by Marmaduke
After a considerable show of fight on the north side of the bayou, Marmaduke
retired his force across the stream and fired the bridge.
Three times the enemy advanced and tried to force him to let go his hold on the stream, and three times they were beaten back, bleeding and torn.
In the interval between the first and second assaults, General Walker
came on the field, but did not remain to exceed fifteen minutes. After the third assault, it became evident the enemy were weakening, and General Marmaduke
sent a staff officer to request General Walker
's presence, as he