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[128] marched to Mansfield. In the cavalry arm, the Texans were well represented by Debray's and Buchel's1 regiments. Before these Price had dispatched from his command in Arkansas two brigades of Missouri infantry, numbering together 4,400 muskets. These marched to Keachi2 on the morning of April 6th, reporting to Taylor from that point, where, under orders, they remained during that day. Banks began his movement from Grand Ecore to Pleasant Hill on April 6th, with a force (estimated) of 25,000. Taylor, to meet this large army, had on the field only 8,800 men. Though given with apparent precision, this ‘was a very full estimate.’

During the early part of his administration of affairs, civil and military, General Banks had shown some substantial result in civic affairs. Results as substantial might be expected from his feverish energy in the field. Here, in New Orleans, his tarnished record against Stonewall Jackson in the valley of Virginia was not a pleasant reminder to himself. In March, 1864, his plans for a triumphant movement ‘into the bowels of the land’ were revived. His previous expedition had been attended by no practical success. Alexandria had been occupied for a short time, but Shreveport still remained Confederate.

For the year 1864, operations began in North Louisiana as early as March 1st. On that day, Black river was the medium, through an attack made by a small Federal fleet consisting of an ironclad, the Osage, and five other boats (semi-gunboats).3 This fleet made its appearance at

1Buchel, who had served in the Prussian army, was an instructed soldier. Three days after he joined us he was mortally wounded in action, and survived but a few hours. The old Fatherland sent no bolder horseman to battle at Rosbach or Gravelotte.’—‘Destruction and Reconstruction’

2 Three roads led from Mansfield to Shreveport—the Kingston, Middle and Keachi. The distance by the first is thirty-eight miles by the second, forty; by the third, forty-five.—‘Destruction and Reconstruction.’

3 U. S. vessels engaged in the expedition: The Conestoga., Cricket, Fort Hindman, Lexington, Osage, and Ouachita.—Report of Com. Ramsay.

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