men to his aid. To a man of Banks
' mercurial nature, all these reinforcements tending his way made propitious tidings.
So lightened, indeed, was his heart, through these flashes connected with the expedition which was to twine his military column with laurel, that on the 13th he wrote to Halleck
, ‘leaving General Franklin
to continue his march as expeditiously to Alexandria
as possible, I shall proceed immediately to that point.’
On April 2d he was reporting to the same official his arrival in Alexandria
He showed no anxiety about his rear, nor any fear that his garrisons in New Orleans, Baton Rouge
and Port Hudson
would be much missed from his imposing advance.
If numbers could win in this campaign in Louisiana
, there were chances with odds for his success.
‘Gen. A. J. Smith
,’ he says loftily, ‘with a column of 10,000 men is with us. Our troops occupy Natchitoches
and we hope to be in Shreveport
by the 10th of April.
I do not fear concentration of the enemy at that point.
My fear is that they may not be willing to meet us there.
I shall pursue the enemy into the interior of Texas
for the sole purpose of destroying or dispersing his forces if it be in my power. . .. Taylor
's forces are said to be on that line (Sabine town). This will not,’ he adds arrogantly, ‘divert us from our movement.’
Thus he wrote on April 2d, making much of A. J. Smith
's 10,000 men, borrowed from General Sherman
A small string was attached, by the way, to this loan of Smith
had agreed to return the men to Sherman
within ‘three months.’
He never once