To resume our narrative, the regiment reaching Pleasant Hill
by dark, rode, band playing, to report to General Taylor
, and was formed into line in front of his headquarters.
approached the General
, who, with stern countenance, told him that the good conduct of his men saved him from arrest and a court-martial.
Upon the Colonel
expressing his surprise at having unknowingly incurred the General
's displeasure, he was reproached with having lost time on the road, while, with ordinary diligence, he should have reported at least ten days before.
When the General
understood that the regiment, stationed at eighty miles beyond Houston
, received the order of march on the 14th of March, and, impeded by a long train of wagons, had ridden over two hundred and fifty miles in less than fourteen days, he extended his hand to the Colonel
, whose nativity was disclosed by his accent, and said to him in French
, ‘I see that you are not a politician.’
Indeed, politicians were no pets at General Taylor
The regiment was ordered to the front on outpost duty.
The enemy's approach being considered as imminent, the night was passed in line, with pickets in front, the horses remaining saddled and bridled.
On the next day (3d of April) General Taylor
's infantry fell back on Mansfield
, leaving Debray
's and Bagby
's Texas regiments, and Vincent
's regiment of Louisiana
cavalry, to observe the enemy, with instructions to retire as slowly as possible if hard pressed.
The 4th was a day of quiet and rest, cheered by the arrival of General Tom Green
with some Texas
Early on the 5th the Federal
cavalry corps made its appearance, when business began in earnest, and retreat became necessary before a largely superior force.
But General Green
made such happy dispositions, taking advantage of the timbered and hilly formation of the country, that the enemy could not advance one mile without being resisted stubbornly enough to hold him three days on the march in moving over the twenty-five miles intervening between Pleasant Hill
Meanwhile, General Taylor
daily receiving reinforcements at Mansfield
delayed the execution of superior orders to fall back on Keachi, twenty miles farther up Red River
, where the General
commanding the Trans Mississippi Department intended to offer battle.
had ascertained that the Federal
army was marching in a very unmilitary order, viz: on one road, while two parallel roads were at a convenient distance for prompt concentration, and the