Leaving the virtues of the turkey to be discussed by others, Mr. Elliot
, in his young, patriotic, and vigorous manhood, on the day before Thanksgiving took train for New York, and on December 4, 1862, embarked on the transport North Star with General Banks
' headquarters staff, Nineteenth Army Corps, for the Department of the Gulf.
Upon arriving at New Orleans, December 14, 1862, General Banks
took command December 15, although formal orders were not issued till December 17.
So promptly did General Banks
act that on December 16 General Grover
's expedition got under way for Baton Rouge
, and arrived there on December 17.
The new staff of the department included Major David C. Houston
, Chief Engineer
, and Captain Henry L. Abbot
of Topographical Engineers
; the latter would therefore be regarded as Mr. Elliot
's immediate commander.
It appears from his paper on Port Hudson
that Mr. Elliot
commenced immediately to practice one branch of his profession, for he says that on January 14, 1863, he completed a detailed map of the Mississippi River
from New Orleans to about thirty miles above Vicksburg
—a piece of professional work that did him great credit.
And now begins the first forward movement of the Nineteenth Army Corps in which Mr. Elliot
‘By March 7, leaving T. W. Sherman
to cover New Orleans, and Weitzel
to hold strongly La Fourche
had a marching column composed of Augur
's, and Grover
's divisions, 15,000 strong.
On March 9 tents were struck, to be pitched no more for five hard months.’
The troops proceeded to Baton Rouge
, and there awaited the arrival of the delayed fleet.
On March 12, all having arrived, General Banks
for the first time reviewed his army.
On March 13 and the day following the army marched to the rear of Port Hudson
Here the engineers found plenty of work in store for them, for the maps were more imperfect than usual; even the road by which the guns were to have gone into battery did not exist!
's moving a portion of his fleet above Port Hudson
before the hour agreed upon, and his signal either