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[42] La., by the utter rout of General N. P. Banks by General ‘DickTaylor, and ended in a disastrous check at Yellow Bayou, owing to the greater part of the infantry supporting Taylor having been withdrawn and sent to Arkansas in pursuit of Steele. The army was waiting for hostilities to reopen. Another attempted invasion by way of Louisiana, Arkansas, or the Gulf coast was expected, and but few realized that the war was nearly over.

During the last year of the war communication with the CisMis-sissippi Department was almost entirely cut off, and the ports on the Gulf coast were blockaded. After the fall of Vicksburg the Mississippi river was patrolled by gunboats so closely that a skiff could hardly cross with safety. Although Lee's surrender took place on April 9th, it was not known anywhere in Texas until late in that month, and the intelligence did not reach many portions of the State until May was well advanced.

It is an incident worthy to be remembered that the last gun of the war was fired by a Texan on Texas soil, in an engagement on the Rio Grande, on May 13, 1865, fought near the historic field of Palo Alto, the combatants being ignorant of the stupendous events which had lately occurred.

The army and the people of Texas had unbounded faith in General Lee, most of them believing him invincible, and when the news of his surrender was received they were stunned and dazed. Even the few who had the prescience to foresee the end could not realize that it was so near at hand. Although the terrible significance of the surrender of General Lee was understood, at first there was but little thought that the war was really ended. On all sides were heard public expressions of determination to prolong the struggle.

While rumors were afloat to the effect that Lee had only surrendered a small part of his forces, and that the bulk of his army had joined Johnston; that President Davis and his Cabinet had escaped across the Mississippi river and would reorganize the government at Shreveport, La., and other unfounded reports of like nature, which deferred for a brief season the despair which was soon to follow.

On April 26th General Joe Shelby, of Missouri, issued an address to his men at Pittsburg, Tex., in which he said: ‘Stand by the ship, boys, as long as there is one plank upon another. All your hopes and fears are there. All that life holds dearest and nearest are there. Your bleeding motherland-pure and stainless as an angel-guarded child — the proud, imperial South, the nurse of your boyhood and the priestess of your faith, is there and calls upon you, her children, ’

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