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[58] orders were given, and the army commenced its march down the Red River.

I, being on the invalid list, was carried down by boat, losing somewhere on the way my blanket, overcoat, and other valuables. I thought then and think now that they were hoodooed by the handsome and honest-faced young darkey who attended me on the voyage.

We arrived at Simsport, near the confluence of the Red and Mississippi Rivers, about May 17, and here we again camped for several days. I have, I think, already noted this extensive and rum-antic city of Simsport, consisting of a postoffice, a rum shop, and possibly three or four houses. We left there May 21 and sailed down the Mississippi to a landing place called Bayou Sara, several miles north of Port Hudson. From Bayou Sara we marched on the night of May 21 to the battlefield of Plains Store, arriving at two o'clock in the morning of May 22, 1863. I was carried in an ambulance. The battle had been fought on May 21. Headquarters were camped on the battlefield, sleeping on the ground, General Banks as well as the rest.

The battle of Plains Store was practically the commencement of the siege of Port Hudson. It was an endeavor by the rebels to push back the Union army, which perhaps for the first time they discovered was intending a siege. Before this the rebels, off their guard, probably supposed that Banks' destination was Vicksburg, as I have already shown that it was.

The Confederates made a sortie against Augur's forces on May 21, but were driven back into their works with considerable loss; the Union side also suffered considerably. But now at Plains Store, on May 22, Banks' forces from the North joined Augur's from the South, and the investment of Port Hudson was complete. Meanwhile Banks established his headquarters on Young's Plantation, about six miles from the rebel works.

Shortly after, the war situation was about as follows: Grant, with his great army, was besieging Vicksburg, Banks Port Hudson; to the east at Jackson there had collected a strong rebel force threatening both Vicksburg and Port Hudson,

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