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[127] to hasten his regiment to Opelousas. Sherman's visit had stirred both camps to a fever of expectation. With Banks, the result was that he began to open his forces like a great fan, from New Orleans outward. With Taylor, it was to draw his army within closer lines, nearer Shreveport than Alexandria.

Polignac's brigade, and the Louisiana brigade under Colonel Gray, were soon united in a division, the command of which was given to General Mouton. We shall see the telling work of this new division later on in the campaign of 1864. On the 21st, Edgar's battery, four guns, was despatched to strengthen Vincent.

At his worst, Richard Taylor was not over-given to falling back. Before falling back he always looked to see where he could best jump from his new point. More than in war, there is profit in such caution. With the first days of March he was particularly on the alert for consequences of the Sherman visit. They were not long in coming.

On March 12th Admiral Porter had entered the mouth of the Red river with nineteen gunboats. The gunboats were followed by 10,000 men loaned by Sherman for the punishment of Louisiana. The news was no sooner given out than Alexandria was prudently evacuated by Taylor. A step backward at Alexandria was to stiffen his muscles for the triumphant leap to Mansfield. From Alexandria, Taylor for once turned to Pleasant Hill. Reinforcements, specially of horse, were slow in reaching him. Green's Texans, three companies of which came first, were ill provided with arms. To Taylor, impatiently waiting at Pleasant Hill, came Walker and Mouton; Green joined him the same day. Major, with the remainder of the Texans, had not come up. To give him time to reach the hill, Taylor halted two days. Thus far the enemy had made no serious advance; and on April 4th and 5th he

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