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[303] deserve more the grateful remembrance of their countrymen than Henry Gray, who entering the service in 1861 as a subordinate officer had by May 17, 1862, received his commission as colonel of the Twenty-eighth Louisiana. The sphere of action assigned him by the Confederate authorities was within the limits of his own State. Through the first months of his service he had no opportunity for distinction. But when in 1863 the Federals in New Orleans began to make attempts to extend their conquests in the southwest, all those brave sons of Louisiana who had not yet had an opportunity to strike a single blow, found steady employment in watching the movements of the enemy and thwarting his plans by gallantly defending every foot of the soil of their beloved State. An enterprising commander like Dick Taylor kept his own troops, and those of the enemy as to that matter, on the tramp all the time. When they were not attacking him, he was making hostile demonstrations against them. There were many fierce encounters which tried the endurance and valor of the troops as sorely as did the great battles in other parts of the Confederacy. These movements of Taylor's troops greatly helped to secure to the Confederacy, to the very last, the possession of their great Trans-Mississippi department. Along the Teche there were many brave deeds performed. Colonel Gray, amid these stirring scenes, found ample opportunity to show the metal of which he was made. In April, 1863, at Camp Bisland occurred one of those desperate affairs in which the troops could plainly see the great disadvantage under which they labored, especially in regard to the superiority in numbers of the force arrayed against them. Gen. Richard Taylor, in his report of this battle and others that preceded and followed it, said: ‘Colonel Gray and his regiment (the Twenty-eighth Louisiana), officers and men, deserve most favorable mention. Their gallantry in action is enhanced by the excellent discipline which they have presented, and no veteran soldiers could ’

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