A double purpose in this was to harass the enemy on his flank and rear, which, if not successful in preventing his further advance into the interior, would render it both slow and cautious.
On May 4, 1863, Banks
and his army moved from Opelousas
, on the road to Alexandria
, was anxious to make sure of Farragut
He inquired, ‘Can the admiral meet me at Alexandria
on Red river
in the last week in April?’
Reaching that city he was joined by four ironclads under Admiral Porter
, but the fleet lost its immediate importance with relation to the army's advance.
, in regard to his Red river campaign
, had himself veered around.
‘My advance is sixty miles above Alexandria
,’ he said.
‘We shall fight the enemy if we can find him, but cannot pursue him farther unless we have a chance to overtake him or meet him.’
was in possession of Alexandria
he was, for a time of doubt, mightily disturbed about what he could do in aid of Grant
On May 12th, he showed anxiety about his inability to join Grant
, lamenting that he was ‘left to move against Port Hudson
On the 13th, having reconsidered matters, he was sure that he could ‘add 2,000 men to Grant
In consequence of this change of mind, Banks
resolved to forego his cherished expedition against Shreveport
, in favor of aiding in the reduction of Port Hudson
His Red river
scheme being a ‘flash in the pan,’ the government's plan to force an ‘open Mississippi
’ had quickly become his own. The safe enjoyment of the Red river
valley, according to him, might be postponed until 1864.
Well it was for General Banks
that the future does not lift up its mystic curtain—as impenetrable to the eyes of man as that veil, rimmed with light, of the temple of Isis
seen by Alciphron
He at once moved his entire army, via Opelousas
and New Iberia, back to Brashear City
For the moment,