14,000 men were already crowding into our new front.
This movement of the enemy, in heavy masses, multiplied the peril for a force of less than 4,000 men. He saw that the only way of extrication was by evacuating his earthworks, no longer useful, and by cutting his way through the impeding force on the New Iberia
road above Franklin
This plan, to be successful, must be immediately attempted.
Orders were accordingly issued to march on Franklin
as soon as possible.
Immediately after daylight, the enemy's skirmishers appearing first were followed by a force consisting of five regiments of infantry, a battalion of cavalry and a battery of artillery in line of battle.
The Confederates opened upon them with artillery and musketry and checked their advance.
Evidently they were trying to keep Taylor
's forces at that point until the whole army could come up and hem them in. Gray
's Twenty-eighth Louisiana, having just reached Franklin
, was at once posted on the left of the new line.
A charge was made, driving the enemy back in confusion.
Behind his visible line was masked a still larger force, which also was held in check.
In this charge Colonel Vincent
, of the Second Louisiana cavalry, with two other officers of the command, were wounded.
This was the battle of Franklin
; not a great fight, but favorable to the Confederates
, and insuring them a successful retreat with all their stores.
Having thus repulsed the enemy, Taylor
ordered the gunboat Diana
to move above Franklin
and take position so that her guns would sweep the fields and roads which the enemy had held.
Placing General Mouton
in command of the troops assembled in line at McKerall's field, Taylor
repaired to Franklin
, where he urged forward the train and troops, just then coming on the cut-off road from Franklin
to New Iberia.
The employment of the Diana
in shelling the roads and sweeping the fields was to be merely temporary.
had given, as a military ‘aside,’ orders to Captain