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[156]

More even than her Beauregard, Taylor had fought for his native State on her own soil; had wrought with singleness of heart for her deliverance from her foes. Subjected like her to the crooked measures of Reconstruction, he still maintained his scorn for shams, his hate of hypocrisy. After a visit to Europe he wrote, in 1873, a book containing at once his share in the war and his place in that troubled peace which followed war. Taylor wrote as he fought, roughly yet gayly, with firm hand on the hilt of his naked sword. His book is himself in type—caustic, fiery, given unto satire, master of epigrams. He held, with Napoleon I, a method of composition sonorous with battle. As he had fought for his State in her stress, so did her cherish her in her degradation. His style, whether in scorn or love, is as brilliant as the gleam of his sword. With its flash before us, I commit Richard Taylor, Liberator of Confederate Louisiana, to his fame.

General Banks found in his own peculiar fashion a justification for his enforced, if not disastrous, defeat.1 After vainly waiting for Porter's fleet at Grand Ecore, Banks proceeded to Alexandria. Thence, he found a swift way to the Atchafalaya; thence, to New Orleans; thence, after a little more warfare, to Massachusetts. Once there, true type of the political soldier, he utilized his war experience by seeking election in his old congressional district. He received the station, of all others, which he knew best how to fill at once with honor to himself and to his State's advantage.

On the 11th of May General Banks was relieved, at his own request, by Maj.-Gen. R. S. Canby. General Canby

1 ‘The fact that the gunboats were unable to pass Grand Ecore until the 7th, justifies the belief that their advance had been prevented by the low stage of water, and governed the army exclusively in its retrograde movement to Grand Ecore.’—General Banks' report, April 16, 1864.

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