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[133] men from Arkansas in time for his own advance. In the closing days of March Taylor had been impatiently expecting reinforcements of cavalry. Vincent's Second Louisiana cavalry, which had been watching the enemy on the Teche, had joined him on the 19th. On the night of the 30th, the Fifth (Texas) cavalry rode in, followed by the Seventh on the 31st. Taylor, having secured his much needed cavalry, began at once to plan a counter-campaign. In February, he had learned by secret information from the city of the probable Federal plan of campaign. A. J. Smith was to bring from Vicksburg his division of veterans, while Banks was to march up through that Teche country which Taylor knew so well. He at once notified Gen. Kirby Smith of his suspicions. It was then that Smith, to meet this movement, began to draw in his forces, which were much scattered throughout his vast department. In March, A. J. Smith came up Red river while Banks was marching triumphantly up the Teche. Army and navy had joined in this final campaign of invasion. In the array, whether on land or wave, the lightest heart was that of the generalissimo of the army.

The Federals, after having captured Fort De Russy, marched unhalted up the whole valley of the Red river. Taylor had been falling back steadily before the enemy's advance, a falling back as if the Confederate mot d'ordre was to skirmish each day, and by night weakly yield the road just ahead. This held good until Taylor found himself at Mansfield, almost at the door of Shreveport. Here his mock patience gave out. Like a skilled sabreur he had, in the retreat, felt his enemy and had learned his strong points. Now, with Mouton's Louisianians at his call, and relieved about his cavalry, Taylor was to make sure of his weak play. In Mouton's command were the following Louisiana forces: Eighteenth regiment (Armant's); Crescent regiment (Bosworth's); Twenty-eighth (Gray's); Beard's battalion; Fournet's battalion; Faries' battery.

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