corps, dropping curses with the booty—on our part, pursuit, filling with triumphant yells the darkening hills.
These continued until evening shadows began to obscure the path.
Just as night was closing in, the enemy made a stand near a small creek of clear water.
The water was an invitation to both armies.
Half way between Mansfield
and Pleasant Hill
flowed this creek.
Here occurred a sharply contested fight.
This last effort of routed valor was brief.
, needing nothing so much as water, ordered the foe to be driven from the creek.
For a time he was disposed to be stubborn.
Finally, he was forced back some 400 yards beyond.
This done, the Confederates
kept watch and ward over the water during the night, while the Federals
kept their new position back from the creek.
‘Daylight on the 9th found every man at his post, and the pursuit was taken up with full ranks.
This testimony is due to the army under my command.
The village of Mansfield
, only three miles from the fierce battle, was during the day and night the scene of order and quiet. ... Not a straggler was seen in the village on the 8th or 9th, and citizens assured me, but for the sounds of the guns, they might have supposed peace to reign in the land.’
(Report of General Taylor
.) In proof of the admirable discipline of the victorious army of Mansfield
, this official attestation is given.
It admits of no dispute.
As had been expected, the enemy had retreated during the night.
hastened back to Mansfield
, pondering where he would deal his next stroke.
Never for a moment, however, did he suppose that the expedition had been abandoned.
He was of that order of commanders who suspect their foes making no sound.
On the road to Natchitoches
, leading in the opposite way to Shreveport
, was Pleasant Hill
Returning to Mansfield
hurried forward Churchill
's and Parsons
' divisions, just arrived from Keachi, 22 miles away.