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[59] other Confederate forces were collecting further down, threatening New Orleans, which was now garrisoned by a much too small force, under command of Emory, while west of the river the scattered forces of Taylor had again collected and were menacing all important points of Western Louisiana.

While we were at these headquarters, which had only a small guard, and just as a large sum of money had been received for the payment of troops, some hundreds of thousands of dollars, we were alarmed one day by the cry of ‘Rebels!’—and there they were, a whole line of cavalry in full gallop across the field towards our camp. Hardly had the alarm been given, when from the opposite direction came the ring of a bugle, and

Grierson, with a part of his cavalry brigade and two howitzers, came dashing up and deployed into line around our quarters; a few rounds of grape and canister soon halted the Confederates, who then turned and fled, pursued by Grierson. Grierson's command, composed largely of cavalry, was principally engaged in keeping communications open between Grant and Banks, and cutting off raiding parties of rebels, always active in our rear and in that of Grant's forces at Vicksburg.

Four days after Banks' arrival, or on May 26, an assault was ordered on the rebel lines for the next day. It was intended to be a simultaneous assault along the whole of the enemy's front. The next morning at about six o'clock all our batteries opened a furious cannonade on the enemy, replied to somewhat feebly by them. Our lines were soon formed, consisting of Weitzel's command, including two colored regiments on our right, Grover's and Augur's commands in the centre, and General T. W. Sherman's forces on our left. Weitzel commenced his assault against the rebel left with great promptness, but over the roughest conceivable ground, made up of hillocks, ravines, and tangles of undergrowth, and abattis of fallen trees. They could scarcely see the enemy behind his recentlyimpro-vised works, but our men formed an easy mark for the rebel riflemen and cannoniers hidden in almost an ambuscade. This

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