rebel Governor Moore
, and arriving at Alexandria
on the Red River
about May 8, 1863.
The admiral (Porter
) had preceded us by one or two days, and his fleet lay in the Red River
, opposite the town.
On the march to Alexandria
, I was taken sick with congestion of the lungs, or pleuro-pneumonia, and given very clearly to understand that this was my last march; but, thanks to pleasant weather and several days' rest, I was soon convalescent.
I can say, however, without romancing, that to be sick of pneumonia on the march, and at the best having only the floors of rebel houses for a couch and a bunch of straw for a pillow, is in no sense a delight; however, others fared so much worse that I ought to have been, and perhaps was, thankful.
We remained at Alexandria
several days, or until May 15.
Here General Banks
was confronted with the most serious problem of the campaign.
He had relied up to this time upon the promise of the government that he should receive large reinforcements, in which he was sorely disappointed.
He was also disappointed in not being furnished with light draft boats to convey his troops.
Up to now he fully expected to join with Grant
in besieging Vicksburg
, but this lack of troops and transportation, and the fact that the aspect of the Vicksburg
campaign was constantly changing rendered co-operation between the two generals apparently impossible.
The campaign of Vicksburg
was at first under command of McClernand
; shortly after it was intended that Sherman
should succeed him; but Grant
finally, after several serious mistakes, not of his own, became the master.
This affected the movements of Banks
He for a time knew not what to do. On May 13 he sent word to Grant
that he should do his best to join him; later he changed his mind and ordered a retreat of the whole army back to Brashear City
, but on May 14 (probably) this order was recalled, as reconnaissances by the Engineer Corps showed that there were fairly good roads along the Red River
nearly to the Mississippi