certain success in the well-threshed fields of the Atchafalaya
and the Lafourche.
Apropos of the charge of unproductiveness he had mentioned by name throughout this time of languor Harrison
's Louisiana cavalry as having rendered ‘invaluable service.’
Just from balking Banks
in 1863, Taylor
was for strengthening the Red river
country against him for 1864.
When New Orleans fell, ten guns (32-pounders and 24-pounders) were thrown into Barataria
and Berwick bay
These had been fished out of the water at odd times.
, returning from that section, thought constantly about its defense.
Seeing the guns, he ordered some on Red river below Alexandria
; others (two) were to be mounted at Harrisonburg
, on a high hill on the west bank of the Ouachita
; two 24-pounders were to go to Butte
Having done this much, and Banks
temporarily out of the way in front of Port Hudson
was much cheered at receiving Walker
division from Arkansas
(4,000 men). With Walker
's men, he had begun to hope that Berwick
bay could be captured, the Lafourche country overrun, and Banks
' communication with New Orleans cut off. At Berwick
was a number of sick men convalescing.
With the invalids was an effective force of about 400.
's works were formidable; but for them Taylor
Meanwhile, a concerted movement against Banks
might make real the brilliant dream of seizing New Orleans by a coup de main;
setting free that Confederate feeling held captive in devoted hearts; and finding recruits to fill gaps in fighting regiments, now turning to ‘skeletons.’
Reports had crept through, too, that the force at the city did not exceed , 1000 men. Never was this hope, during 1862-64, other than an illusion.
Covering the main attack on Berwick
had organized an expedition via Plaquemine
and Bayou Lafourche
to Bayou Boeuf
, under Col. James P. Major