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[152] Steele in Arkansas would be surely disposed of. As to west Louisiana, Smith was without fear. General Taylor, who had routed Banks, would take care of him.

Smith and Taylor went to Shreveport together, and with them marched Walker's and Churchill's divisions, but at Shreveport Smith changed his mind. He suddenly decided himself to go after Steele, on the expedition in Arkansas, which engaged him for some time. From Shreveport, therefore, Taylor set out to hunt up the fleeing column of Banks, which he struck first at Natchitoches on April 22d, defeated his enemy and pursued him with daily marching and fighting. Always trusting to catch up with the foe, his fighters, eager and hopeful, had never once halted during the day. Taylor's main movement generally followed the bends of Red river, to keep it from the enemy's boats; and his present attention was specially directed against the gunboats coming down, frightened at the news of Banks' defeat. A sorry ending to the dream of the joint triumph of army and navy—his army fleeing, and the fleet, that fleet so much trusted in, so hopefully associated with the proud beginnings of his wrecked campaign, scurrying down Red river, painfully eyeing the banks, and none too sure of saving itself from the dangerous union of low water and hostile batteries. On April 26th an event, brilliant in execution, aided in annihilating one gunboat and one transport. Lieutenant-Colonel Caudley, with 200 sharpshooters and Cornay's St. Mary's Cannoneers were posted at the junction of Cane and Red rivers, sternly waiting for the gunboats known to be escaping from above as best they might At 6 p. m. one gunboat, with a transport, appeared in sight. The united fire of cannoneers and sharpshooters proved fatal to both, silencing and crippling the gunboat, which drifted helplessly out of sight. The transport fared worse, a shell shortly after having exploded its boiler with terrible effect. ‘Over 100 bodies were brought on shore, and ’

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