previous next

It would appear from the disasters to the Federal armies on Red river and in Arkansas, that General Grant was for once mistaken in his laconic criticism of the purposes of Kirby Smith in making headquarters at Shreveport. He said he could not imagine Smith's object, ‘except it was to avoid being hurt.’

Gen. Kirby Smith's selection of Shreveport as his base of operations for the defense of Arkansas, Louisiana and Texas undoubtedly worked out the overthrow of Banks and contributed to the defeat of Steele. Taylor's ‘precipitate’ attack on Banks, as it was called, was no doubt aided by the concentration of troops under Smith's policy. Price's troops did not actually participate in the battle of Mansfield, so unexpectedly brought on by General Mouton and pushed to such a glorious success by Taylor, but their presence was known, and contributed to the victory. The pursuit to Pleasant hill, although a recoil at the instant, added impetus to the overthrow of Banks. The defeat of Banks was the cause of Steele's retrograde movement from Prairie D'Ane into the fortifications of Camden, where he was penned as in a trap, Price, Marmaduke, Fagan and Cabell proving sufficient for his destruction. Perhaps the Fagan march across the Ouachita at Eldorado landing, and the capture of the train at Marks' mills, were entirely due to General Smith's conceptions, carried to immediate achievement. Neither Smith nor Fagan dreamed of striking McLean's brigade, under Colonel Drake, when the expedition started, but General Smith had complained that supplies were being sent to Steele at Camden under an insufficient escort. Hence he ordered the Fagan expedition to Little Rock, and it achieved Marks' mills. The subsequent pursuit of Steele by the infantry from Louisiana, as it turned out, was useless energy as well as waste of the lives of those who fell at Jenkins' ferry. The blow struck on Red river had done its work, as General Smith intended, and destroyed Steele already. His dispositions are an example

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: