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[544] army. They were driven about two miles into the woods, losing about one thousand men, who were captured, besides a large number of killed and wounded.

During the battle, the Forty-ninth Illinois, (Colonel W. R. Morrison's old regiment,) under command of Major Morgan, charged upon a rebel battery with determined bravery, and captured two pieces of artillery and a large number of prisoners. Adjutant Deneen, of the One Hundred and Seventeenth Illinois, reported this fact to General Banks. The General replied: “Present my compliments to Major Morgan and his regiment, and tell him that I will ever remember them for their gallantry.”

The rebel prisoners claim to have had twenty-five thousand men engaged on Saturday, but I doubt whether half that number were present. The rebel Generals Parsons and Mouton are reported killed.

Our army remained on the field until daylight Sunday morning, when the retreat to Grand Ecore was commenced.

The rebel killed and wounded were left on the field. Our wounded were taken to houses in Pleasant Hill, and there were placed in ambulances and wagons and brought on to Grand Ecore, except about twenty-five, who were badly wounded, and left at Pleasant Hill in care of two surgeons. Our dead were left on the field, but it is reported that they were afterward buried by the cavalry.

Our killed and wounded during the second day's battle, will, perhaps, amount to one thousand five hundred. That of the rebels is at least double that amount. The Sixteenth and Nineteenth army corps were the only forces engaged in this fight on our side.

In our retreat to Grand Ecore, a distance of thirty-five miles from Pleasant Hill, we were not molested in the least. By Monday evening, (the eleventh,) the whole army was at Grand Ecore, on Red River.

There is great dissatisfaction expressed on all sides, at the generalship displayed by General Banks. He has lost the confidence of the entire army. The privates are ridiculing him. Officers are not loudly but deeply cursing him, and civilians are unanimous in condemnation of the Commanding General. The Friday's battle was brought on contrary to General Franklin's plans. And both General Franklin and General Ransom protested against having the cavalry so far in advance of the main army. General Banks hurried on, supposing that there was no danger, but the sad defeat at Mansfield is the result. After General Banks left Grand Ecore, he wrote back to General Grover, at Alexandria, saying: “We hope to meet the enemy this side of Shreveport.” His hope has been more than realized. The troops are calling for General Sherman. They say if Sherman had been in command, he would now be in Shreveport, instead of at Grand Ecore. General Banks has been engineering his department more to further his presidential aspirations than any thing else. But if the Baltimore Convention were composed of the army of the Gulf, his chances would be hopeless. He would not get enough votes to save him from that unimportant list put down as “scattering” Personally, General Banks is a perfect gentleman. I have no prejudice against him, for he has invariably treated me with kindness and consideration. But the truth must be told. As a military man, he is, as the vernacular has it, “played out.”

General A. J. Smith protested against the retreat from Pleasant Hill. He wanted to pursue the rebels on Sunday on his own hook instead of falling back, but General Banks was firm, and ordered all the forces to return. General Smith is very popular with the army, and every time he makes his appearance he is cheered with great enthusiasm, and considered one of the ablest generals of the army.

It is difficult to determine at this time what will be the result of this expedition. It will take some time to reorganize before an advance can be resumed. If the river continues to fall, navigation above Alexandria will be difficult, if not impossible. In that event, Alexandria will necessarily become the base of operations instead of Grand Ecore, or some point above. The transports and gunboats are all above Grand Ecore, but are expected down here to-morrow. The rebels are very troublesome on the river above Grand Ecore. They succeeded in planting a battery between our fleet and this place. The gunboats shelled the woods all day yesterday, and perhaps dislodged them. The transports are almost constantly fired on from both sides of the river. Seventeen miles below here, the rebels have appeared on the east side of the river. Yesterday, the Ohio Belle, loaded with soldiers and quartermaster's stores, in charge of Chief Clerk, Mr. O'Neil, of St. Louis, was fired into at that point, and two soldiers were badly wounded. To-day, the fine passenger steamer, Mittie Stephens, loaded with troops, was fired into at the same place, sixty shots taking effect. Six persons were wounded and one killed.

To-day General Banks's army began crossing over to the east side of Red River, opposite Grand Ecore. Whether the whole army will cross over or not, I am unable to say. It is rumored that only Smith's army (Sixteenth army corps) is crossing, and that he is going overland to Natchez or Vicksburgh. But this wants confirmation, although it is generally understood that General Grant has sent an order for Smith's return to Vicksburgh. I do not see how General Banks can spare the Sixteenth army corps at this time. All the forces have been ordered here from Alexandria, except one regiment, and a few companies of home-guards. General Grover, commanding the post at Alexandria, has been ordered here, and is now expected. Fears are entertained that the rebels may attack Alexandria for the purpose of destroying the large amount of army supplies at that place.

Admiral Porter has arrived here from above with two or three of his iron-clads. The fleet of transports above here are in great danger at this


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