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[144] these reinforcements, his forces amounted to 12,500 men, against Banks' 18,000 men. At 2 a. m. these were on the march. At 3:30 a. m. Taylor, in person, had planted himself at the front There, finding the enemy retreated during the night, he sent forward his entire cavalry under Green. With the cavalry he ordered the infantry to follow in column along the Pleasant Hill road. In this line stepped impetuously Mouton's old division, now under Polignac. Taylor preferred to pass ahead with the horse. A retreating foe does not always mean a paralyzed army. Ample evidences of the rout of the previous day were met. Along the road between Mansfield and Pleasant Hill were stragglers, burning wagons, broken wheels, knapsacks, canteens, rent haversacks, scattered arms—an army's debris everywhere. For twelve miles not a shot came from the hills.

‘Halt men!’ came sharply from Taylor, riding at the head of the horsemen. A mile in front of Pleasant Hill, our cavalry found the retreating army once more dangerous, drawn up in a strong position. Pleasant Hill occupies a plateau a mile wide, west to east, along the road to Mansfield. Banks' line extended across this plateau. On the plateau were placed his batteries. With the infantry far in the rear, Taylor, for a moment, was nonplussed. He could no more than develop, by feints to the right and left of the enemy, their position and strength. By orders captured on the 8th, he had already learned that Banks fully ‘expected to reach Shreveport on the 11th via Pleasant Hill and Mansfield.’

To push Banks beyond Pleasant Hill, on the side nearer Natchitoches, had become of vital importance. Ripe fruit is ready for picking. For Taylor, pushing Banks back was the ripest fruit of yesterday's victory. Clearly Banks, being here in force, was aiming to get back to his chosen road. The strength developed showed that fresh troops had joined him during the night. To wait for the infantry seemed Taylor's only plan. After some time

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