numbered four hundred and fifty men in the saddle, besides extra duty men, the train guard, the sick and those whose horses were disabled.
During the night a courier from General Taylor
's headquarters passed the camp, bearing orders to the regiments that had not yet crossed the Sabine
to continue on its western side, and to cross it at Logansport
No intelligence was given of the movements of the enemy, whose proximity was not suspected.
On the 2d of April, at daybreak, the march was resumed in the expectation of reaching Pleasant Hill
Here an incident occurred, which will be mentioned as being characteristic of Debray
A Major on General Taylor
's staff, an old West Pointer, whose name is not now remembered, visited the camp in the evening; on the next morning he started from Manny
after the regiment had passed it, but riding rapidly along the column, he overtook the Colonel
, who rode at the head of it, when the following conversation took place: ‘Colonel
, where are your men from?’
‘They are all Texians,’ was the answer.
ejaculated, ‘I never saw the like; I saw no stragglers, they march in a solid column, the officers saluted me, and I was not once requested to get out of my boots or from under my hat.’
, being given to understand that the regiment was disciplined, and saw no fun in taunting with jeers a lone wayfarer, much less an officer, pushed ahead.
There is no doubt but this incident, reported to General Taylor
, caused him to entertain that high estimation of the regiment, before having seen it, which he expressed in his memoirs published a few years ago, a short time before his death.
At a short distance from Manny
the order was received to take the road to old Fort Jesup
, and join Colonel Bagby
's regiment of Texas
cavalry on outpost duty, leaving the wagons to follow the Pleasant Hill
The order of march of the regiment had been so correct from the start that no disposition was necessary to prepare for an approach to the enemy, further than issuing ammunition to the men, and the road designated in the order was entered.
It led through a dense, rolling pine forest intercepting the sight a few hundred yards off. Shortly after discharges of artillery were heard ahead; the regiment increased its gait, and soon the crackling of musketry was audible.
Next, the van-guard stopped short, and sent intelligence that the regiment was close to the rear of a dismounted Federal force engaged with an enemy in its front.
It was naturally inferred that they stood between Bagby
The regiment was deployed, skirmishers