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[67] the Federal fleet before Vicksburg. Could she be sent down to clear the river? Or, failing that, could he look for her to divert the fire of the gunboats? These queries, telegraphed to Van Dorn, brought an immediate answer. ‘The Arkansas will be ready to co-operate at daylight on Tuesday, August 5th.’

With this assurance, Breckinridge marched his division at once. Leaving the Comite at 1 p. m., he reached the vicinity of Baton Rouge, ten miles off, a while before daybreak on the morning of the 5th. The three gunboats were on the river. Before the day would be out, the Arkansas would be there among them! With this hope strong in him, Breckinridge waited for the dawn. While waiting in the darkness, an independent sortie of the Louisiana partisan rangers provoked an exchange of shots between the pickets. Galloping back, the rangers caused some disorder and were followed by a storm of bullets from the enemy in the town. Brigadier-General Helm was dangerously wounded by the fall of his horse; A. H. Todd, his aide-de-camp, was killed, and Captain Roberts, Fourth Kentucky, wounded. Several enlisted men were killed or wounded. Two of Captain Cobb's three guns were rendered, for the time, useless. But order was soon brought out of disorder. The force was placed in position on the right and left of the Greenwell Springs road. Breckinridge, with a single line of battle, a small regiment of infantry and one piece of artillery to each division as a reserve, now faced the enemy, already awaiting him in a compact line, made very strong with heavy reserves distributed at intervals.

It was a little after daylight. A thick fog darkened the morning, but despite its prevalence the order to advance was given. General Ruggles, commanding the left, brought on the engagement with his second division. The Fourth and Thirtieth Louisiana, Boyd's Louisiana battalion, and Semmes' battery were under the command

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