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[54] story to every Southerner. West of these lowlands and bayous almost abruptly rise the undulating prairies of Western Louisiana. These lowlands teem with the wildest Southern vegetation, and are intercepted everywhere with mazes of black and sluggish bayous, creeks, and lagoons, along some of whose borders lie sugar and corn lands, among the richest of the South; while others form dank, dismal, and almost impenetrable swamps, where alligators sing praises to unknown demons, and wriggling moccasins revel in their muddy and watery gardens of Eden.

Through these lowlands and over these prairies marched the army, followed much of the way by vultures, the so-called ‘turkey buzzards’ of the South, who, perched in platoons on the dead limbs of the cypress, seemed like vanguards of ill omen from the realms of Pluto.

On April 11 we crossed Berwick Bay to Berwick City, and on April 12 began that march of three hundred miles whose destination proved to be Port Hudson. In speaking of Port Hudson, we can hardly leave out the strategic manoeuvres which led up to its investment and capture. I have thus been led to recite the previous movements and marches of the army; all a part of the endeavor by Banks to carry out his instructions relative to the Vicksburg campaign and the opening of the Mississippi River.

When our march from Brashear City began, the army was divided into two divisions; one, under General Grover, with perhaps 7,000 or 8,000 men, was sent in transports, convoyed by gunboats up Grand Lake, with the intention of cutting off a large force of Confederates under General Richard Taylor, who was in command of all rebel armies in Western Louisiana. The rest of our army, under Banks, crossed Berwick Bay, as already noted, landed at Berwick City, a little town of a dozen houses, and an ancient Indian mound, and then marched up the Bayou Teche past Pattersonville to attack Taylor in front. Taylor's force of rebels lay behind fortifications which extended across the bayou, but were flanked

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