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[137] field for the employment of many guns. These were, therefore, held in reserve.

Taylor's line of battle, prudently veiled, was at the edge of a wood with cleared fields, stretching away on both sides of the Pleasant Hill road. The clearing, which was about 1,000 yards in extent, was a direct menace to an attacking force. Thus, having made ready, Taylor awaited with confidence the Federal advance. To Banks' pompous march he had opposed a skillful arrangement of his army. It would be hard to imagine a more effective disposition of his forces, at once cautious and bold. In the stand chosen for a waiting army, it gave assurance that every advantage in the ground had been taken by the Confederate leader. That the attack would be in force, he had hoped; that he would fight the harder against odds, none better than he knew.

Suddenly Taylor's army saw its cavalry rapidly driven back in its front. On the left a body of the enemy's cavalry, spurred by success and following incautiously, ran into a ‘stone wall,’ made up of the line of the Eighteenth Louisiana. In another moment the wall became moving men, who advanced, and in one strong movement in force destroyed the pursuers.

While this was going on, in the wood beyond the clearing could be seen the enemy forming his line of battle. Some light skirmishing without result took place. Taylor speedily detected the Federal design. It was evident that they were weakening their left to mass on their right, to turn him. To meet the new peril he hastened Terrell's regiment of horse to reinforce Major's cavalry on the left. Nor did he neglect the imperiled infantry. He ordered Randal's brigade of Walker's division from the right to the left to strengthen Mouton. In these transfers the whole line gained ground from the right to the left, to meet the onset. The movements among the Confederates were masked by throwing forward skirmishers toward the enemy, and deploying Debray's cavalry

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Richard Taylor (4)
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