previous next

[565] <*>hen a sheet of flame flashed along his lines, and, with the crash of ten thousand thunders, musket-balls, mingled with grape and canister, swept the plain like a besom of destruction. Hundreds fell dead and dying before that awful fire.

Scarcely had the seething lead left the guns when the word “Charge!” was given, and seven thousand brave men precipitated themselves upon the shattered ranks of the enemy. Emory's division, which had only yielded to superior numbers, and remained unbroken, now rushed forward and joined the Sixteenth corps, driving the rebels rapidly down the hill to the woods, where they broke and fled in the greatest confusion and dismay.

Colonel Benedict, while gallantly leading his brigade in the charge, fell dead, pierced by five balls.

The battle was fought and the victory won. Our troops followed up the rebels until night put an end to the pursuit.

In the last charge we recaptured Taylor's battery, which had been lost in the earlier part of the action, and retook two guns of Nim's battery, which had been lost in the battle of the preceding day.

The ten-pound Parrott gun which the rebels captured last fall at Carrion Crow was also retaken.

Five hundred prisoners, all the dead and wounded, three battle-standards, and a large number of small-arms, fell into our hands.

Our victorious army slept upon the battle-field, which was one of the bloodiest of the war.

Early the next morning our line of march was taken up to Grand Ecore, to obtain rest and rations, the army being too much fatigued by the three days fighting and severe marching it had undergone to attempt pursuit of the enemy.

This battle was one of the best appointed and delivered of the war. It reflects much credit upon the head of the army of the Gulf, and is equally honorable to all who were engaged in it.

General Banks was present from the beginning to the close of the engagement, and rode over the field through showers of bullets, personally directing the movements of the troops. General Banks's staff ably assisted him, freely sharing the danger with their chief, and behaving throughout the action with the greatest gallantry.

General Franklin and staff were in the hottest of the fire. Of the soldiers who so bravely fought the battle and achieved a splendid victory, it need only be said, that the men of Maine, Missouri, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New-York, Kentucky, Illinois, and Indiana, sustained their reputation, standing shoulder to shoulder with the loyal Louisiana troops; and well may their States be proud to claim them as sons of their soil. The heroes of Vicksburgh and Port Hudson may now add the name of Pleasant Hill to the list of their glorious victories.

The cavalry division, except a part of Colonel Lucas's brigade, was not in the action on Saturdry, the main body having been sent to convoy the wagon-trains to Grand Ecore.

No part of the Thirteenth army corps was in the battle.

In the battle of Friday, the rebel General Mouton was killed by the unerring rifles of the Nineteenth Kentucky. He received four balls in his body.

The rebel General Kirby Smith is reported to have commanded the troops in the battle at Pleasant Hill.

The entire losses of the campaign thus far may be summed up as follows: Twenty pieces of artillery. One thousand five hundred men in General Ransom's corps. Six hundred men in General Emory's division. Five hundred men in General Smith's Sixteenth army corps. Four hundred men in the cavalry division. One hundred and thirty cavalry, division, and brigade wagons. One thousand two hundred horses and mules, including the great number that died on the march across the Teche from disease.

Our gains thus far are the capture of Fort De Russy, Alexandria, Grand Ecore, and Natchitoches, the opening of Red River, the capture by the gunboats of three thousand bales of prizecotton, one half of which goes to the Government, and the bringing of other considerable quantities of cotton to our markets. Besides this, we have captured at Fort De Russy, Henderson's Hill, Pleasant Hill, Mansfield, and elsewhere, two thousand three hundred prisoners, including three lieutenant-colonels, six majors, and thirty line-officers at Pleasant Hill, twenty-five pieces of artillery, any quantity of smallarms there and at other points, four hundred bushels of meal, thirty barrels of beef, and a depot commissariat at Pleasant Hill.

Besides, under the administration of Provost-Marshal Neafie, of the One Hundred and Fifty-sixth New-York volunteers, Alexandria has returned to its allegiance; eight hundred citizens have taken the oath of fealty to the Government of the United States, and eight hundred have enlisted there into the military service of our Government.

The material for at least two full colored regiments has thus far been garnered in, and the rebels have been deprived of the service of five thousand able-bodied negroes, male and female, who have abandoned their happy homes and cast their fortunes with the Yankees.

Forage nearly enough to supply the immediate needs of the army, and beef, cattle, and horses have fallen into the hands of our advancing army.

When Shreveport is taken and occupied, and the rebel State government is driven therefrom to seek another temporary resting-place, the chief object of the present campaign will be accomplished.

Colonel Gooding, of the Fifth cavalry brigade, which went to the front to “entertain” the enemy on Saturday morning until General Emory's line could be formed, was shot at by a rebel rifleman,

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

hide People (automatically extracted)
Sort people alphabetically, as they appear on the page, by frequency
Click on a person to search for him/her in this document.
Emory (3)
Kirby Smith (2)
N. P. Banks (2)
Dick Taylor (1)
T. E. G. Ransom (1)
Nim (1)
Neafie (1)
Alfred Mouton (1)
Mansfield (1)
Lucas (1)
O. P. Gooding (1)
William B. Franklin (1)
Crow (1)
Benedict (1)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: