No time was given them to recover their good order, but General Smith ordered a charge, and his men dashed rapidly forward, the boys of the Nineteenth joining in. The rebels fought boldly and desperately back to the timber, on reaching which, a large portion broke and fled, fully two thousand throwing aside their arms. In this charge, Taylor's battery was retaken, as were also two of the guns of Nim's battery, the Parrott gun taken from us at Carrion Crow last fall, and one or two others belonging to the rebels, one of which was considerably shattered, beside seven hundred prisoners. A pursuit and desultory fight was kept up for three miles, when our men returned to the field of battle. And thus ended this fearful and bloody struggle for the control of Western Louisiana. The accounts from all quarters agree in stating that General Banks, during the entire contest, showed the greatest possible daring and valor, as did General Franklin, and the staffs of each. They will reap their reward in the grateful hearts and prayers of the American people, and in the increased devotion and love of their soldiers. General Ransom, when wounded, was directing the firing of the Chicago battery, standing among the men, and he had scarcely been removed when the rebels were in possession of the spot on which he fell. Among the rebels taken were three lieutenant-colonels and six majors. Colonel Brisbin, of General Lee's staff, had his horse's head blown off while riding across the field by a shell, and would have been taken had not some of the men pulled him out. He succeeded in capturing a rebel horse and leaving the field on its back. Colonel Brisbin lost his trunk, in the baggage train, the sash taken from General Barksdale on the field at Gettysburgh, which had been made a present to him, and General Villipigue's sabre, taken from him in Virginia. Colonel Robinson, while defending the wagontrain on the first day, was shot in the hip, but refused to leave the field for two hours after. It was supposed he would lose his leg in consequence, but the surgeons now think it can be saved.
Chicago Tribune account.
Grand Ecore, La., April 11, 1864.The army under General Banks left here on the sixth, via Pleasant Hill and Mansfield for Shreveport, with the exception of Smith's forces, consisting of detachments of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth army corps, which did not leave until the seventh. On the evening of the eighth, we camped at Pleasant Hill, thirty-five miles from Grand Ecore. General Lee's cavalry division was advanced to Robinson's Mill, eight miles beyond Pleasant Hill, where it camped for the night. After a short skirmish with the enemy, in which we lost thirty-seven men in killed and wounded, General Lee now sent back requesting a brigade of infantry to be sent forward in the morning to his support, and at three o'clock A. M. on the morning of the eighth, General Ransom, commanding detachment Thirteenth army corps, by order of General Banks, sent the First brigade, Fourth division, Thirteenth army corps, under command of Colonel Landrum, of the Nineteenth Kentucky, to report to General Lee at daylight, at Robinson's Mill. The balance of General Ransom's command marched forward on the Mansfield road at half-past 5 o'clock A. M., and was followed at eight o'clock A. M., by the last division, Nineteenth army corps, commanded by General Emory. General Smith, who was bringing up the rear of the army, was to move up to Pleasant Hill on the same day. The forces under General Lee, moving in our advance, met the enemy early in the morning and skirmished in line of battle for some seven miles, when the resistance to their march became so obstinate as to hold them in complete check, and General Lee, who was now within five miles of Mansfield, sent back word to General Franklin, advising him of his situation, and General Ransom, who had just reached a small bayou ten miles from Pleasant Hill, was immediately ordered forward by General Franklin with the First brigade, Fourth division, Thirteenth army corps, which came up with General Lee at half-past 2 o'clock. About three o'clock, General Banks and staff reached the extreme front, and found our advance force deployed upon the right and left of the road, skirmishing very heavily with the enemy on the right. The position of our army at this hour was as follows: In front, and on the ground where a most terrible battle was soon to be fought, was General Lee with Colonels Dudley's and Lucas's cavalry brigades, with Nim's battery of six guns and one section (two guns) of battery G, Fifth United States regulars. United to this force there was now the Fourth division, Thirteenth army corps, with the Chicago Mercantile battery, (six guns.) Next, in the rear and completely blocking up the road, was General Lee's train of some two hundred and fifty wagons, to the presence of which the subsequent disaster of the day is largely attributable. Back of these was the Third division, Thirteenth army corps, under General Cameron, moving up to the front as rapidly as possible. Next to the Third division was General Emory with the First division, Nineteenth army corps, seven miles from the extreme front, while General Smith was back of Pleasant Hill, one day's march in our rear. The battle-ground was a large, open, irregular-shaped field, through about one half of which on the right of the road a narrow belt of timber ran, encircling inward as it extended to the right until its base rested around upon the woods in the rear. The road passed through the centre of the field in a north-westerly direction toward Mansfield. Meandering diagonally through the field and across the road was a small creek or bayou, from the banks of which the ground rose gradually along the line of the road, terminating in a considerable ridge on each side. The ridge at the