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[464] their march. At the same time, Morgan sent De Courcy's brigade across the bayou with orders to support Blair's attack on the right, but the Federals were only three thousand strong, and the reinforcements were coming up but slowly, while their adversaries, manoeuvring upon open ground, could rapidly concentrate all their forces near the point menaced. Blair, however, carried the breastworks extending at the foot of the hills, while his soldiers, who had been trained in the rough campaigns of Missouri and Arkansas, began boldly to climb the slopes swept by the projectiles of the enemy; their efforts, however, against the constantly increasing number of their adversaries proved unavailing. No help reached them, no diversion was made in their favor; De Courcy's brigade, although partly composed of recruits, rivalled them for a moment in ardor, but its march had been subjected to delays which, after the battle, were to be the cause of violent recriminations. It, however, soon fell back in disorder without having been able to reach the enemy's works. Blair, reduced to his own resources, was obliged to retire in his turn. The Federals left more than one thousand wounded, a few hundred prisoners, and four flags in the hands of the enemy. The Confederate brigade of S. D. Lee, which alone had held them in check, protected by its entrenchments, had not lost more than one hundred and fifty men.

The assault was a positive failure. The signal agreed upon had either not been understood or not heard on the right, and the two divisions which were posted there remained immovable, while a handful of men were being crushed in a desperate attempt on the left. The second division, under Stuart, had spent the day in watching the curious position occupied by the company of the Sixth Missouri which was to undermine the bluff. The Confederate sharpshooters were posted along the ridge of this bank, and came every now and then to discharge their muskets perpendicularly downward in the hope of hitting some of their adversaries squatting at the foot of the declivity. A battalion of the Thirteenth Regulars, posted opposite, then opened fire upon them, but more frequently hit their own comrades on the edge of the water. ‘Aim higher,’ shouted the latter. ‘Lower,’ cried out the Confederates, who were trying to drown the voice of the

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