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days more, had constructed several wing-dams, directly at the head of the falls, raising the water on the rapids over a foot additional; and, in three days more,” the gunboats Mound City, Carondelet, Pittsburg, Ozark, Louisville, Chilicothe, and two tugs, had successively passed the falls and the dams, with the loss of one man swept overboard and two or three rudders unshipped, were coaled and moving down the river, convoying the transports—the back-water from the swollen Mississippi (150 miles distant) enabling them to pass all the bars below without delay or difficulty. Ere this, the gunboats Signal and Covington, with the transport Warner, steaming down the river in fancied security, were fired on, soon after daybreak,” at Dunn's bayou, 30 miles below Alexandria, by a large Rebel force, and thoroughly riddled; the Covington being abandoned and burned; while the Signal and Warner were compelled to surrender. There were some 400 soldiers on board of these vessels, including Col. Sharp, 156th N. York, and Col. Raynor, 129th Illinois, of whom 150 were captured, and perhaps 100 more killed or wounded. The residue took the shore, and escaped as best they could. Soon afterward, the City Belle, transport, conveying the 120th Ohio,425 strong, up to Alexandria, was likewise captured; only 200 of the soldiers escaping.
Gen. Grant, arrived at Alexandria” soon after the return of our army to that point. Gen. Fitz Henry Warren, who had been left in command at Matagorda bay, with the
remainder of those forces, evacuated,
soon afterward, all our posts on the coast of Texas save those on the Rio Grande, and came around to réenforce Gen. Banks; but was stopped by formidable Rebel batteries at
Marksville, on the Red river, when he fell back to Fort de Russy and
strengthened that post. Banks, upon reaching Alexandria from above, had found” there Gen. Hunter, with réiterated orders from Grant to bring his Shreveport campaign to a close without delay. Danks sent Hunter back” with dispatches, stating that the fleet was above the falls, and that it could not be left there to the enemy, nor yet brought over without serious, protracted effort on the part of the army. Yet, before the dams were completed and the gunboats relieved from their peril, Banks was favored with a fresh dispatch” from Halleck, saying: “Lieut.-Gen. Grant directs that orders heretofore given be so modified that no troops be withdrawn from operations against Shreveport and on Red river, and that operations there be continued, under the officer in command, until further orders.” Two weeks earlier, this, with permission to retain Smith's corps, would have been most welcome. But, before it came to hand, the Rebels had control of the river below as well as above Alexandria, and a renewal of the campaign was judged impracticable. Gen. Banks evacuated Alexandria
simultaneously with the departure of the fleet; striking for Simmsport, on the Atchafalaya. That morning, a fire broke out in a building on the levee which had been occupied by soldiers or refugees; and, in spite of the most determined efforts by our men, a high wind and the proximity of inflammable substances insured the destruction of a considerable portion of the buildings. Gen. Banks had apprehended such a disaster, and had directed Gen. Grover, post commandant, to take precautions against it; but they proved unavailing. It is of course probable that some evildisposed person or persons purposely started the fire. On the march to Simmsport, a Tebel cavalry force was encountered just at daybreak” at Mansura, near Marksville, by our advance, and pushed steadily back across the open prairie to the woods beyond; where a stand was made for three hours— the fighting being mainly by skirmishers and artillery—until our main body had come up, and Gen. Emory on our right and Gen. A. J. Smith on our left had flanked the foe's position, when, after a sharp but
brief struggle, he was driven, with
considerable loss—we recapturing a part of the prisoners taken with our vessels on the river ten or twelve days before. No farther resistance being encountered, our advance reached Simmsport that evening. The Atchafalaya is here 600 yards wide, quite deep, and no ordinary bridge material at hand. Under Col. Bailey's direction, a bridge was constructed of steamboats in two days and a half; the wagon-train passing over it during the afternoon
of May 19th. As it did so, our rear at Yellow bayou was assailed by a Tebel force under Prince Polignac, whom A. J. Smith beat off, inflicting a heavy loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners. Our loss was 150 killed and wounded. The passage of the Atchafalaya was completed next day; and—Gen. Canby, having appeared as commander of the transMississippi department—Gen. Banks turned over the army to him and hastened to New Orleans. Gen. A. J. Smith returned hence to his own department with his somewhat depleted command. On his way up the Mississippi, he landed” at Sunnyside, in the south-eastern corner of Arkansas, and attacked, near Columbia, a Itebel force estimated at 3,000, said to be under command of Marmaduke, strongly posted across a bayou emptying into Lake Chicot, who were worsted and driven, retreating westward. Our loss here was 20 killed, 70 wounded; that of the enemy about the same. Gen. Danks's movement on Simmsport having loosened the Rebel hold on the river at Marksville, Admiral Porter encountered no farther resistance; but moved down the Red nearly parallel with the army, and resumed his patrol of the Mississippi.
Much odium was excited by the circumstance that sundry cotton speculators visited Alexandria during its occupation by our forces, armed with permits from the President or the Treasury department; so that the campaign wore the aspect of a gigantic cotton raid, prosecuted at the expense of the country for the benefit of individuals. Gen. Banks was nowise implicated in these sordid operations; not so Admiral Porter.” IIe, unlike Banks, had been an original advocate of the advance on Shreveport. IIe had signalized his movement up Red river by a proclamation or order claiming for the fleet —that is, in good part, for himself— all the cotton within a league of that river as lawful prize of war. And, while our army was hard at work to get his gunboats over the falls on his return, Government wagons were engaged in bringing in cotton from the adjacent plantations, to load transports that might far better have been used to bring away the loyal people of Alexandria, who were left defenseless to the vengeance of the returning Rebels.
* May 16.
** June 5.
Gen. Steele moved * southward from Little Rock with 7,000 men, almost simultaneously with Danks's advance to Alexandria; Gen. Thayar, with the Army of the Frontier, possibly 5,000 strong, having left Fort Smith the day previous, expectng to join him at Arkadelphia ; while Col. Clayton, with a small 'orce, advanced from Pine Bluff on Steele's left. IIeavy rains, bad roads, wollen streams, and the absence of ridges, impeded movements and deanged calculations on all hands; so hat Steele, after waiting two days st Arkadelphia, pressed on “without lim. Since it crossed the Saline, he Rebel cavalry, under Marmaduke nd Shelby, had skirmished sharply with our advance; and attempts to top it at river-crossings and other ifficult passes were often made, but enerally baffled by flanking. Ster
ling Price, with a considerable force of Rebel infantry, barred Steele's way" at Prairie d’Anne; and an artillery fight was kept up for some hours, till darkness closed it; when the enemy attempted to capture our guns by a rush, but was repulsed, with loss; and thereupon retreated to Washington, on the upper course of Red river.” By this time, there were rumors in the air that Banks had been defeated in Upper Louisiana and compelled to retreat; rumors which prisoners and Steele's spies soon corroborated. Instead of following Price, therefore, Steele turned sharply to the left, and marched into Camden ;” the enemy, when too late, endeavoring to get there before him. While waiting here, the tidings of Banks’s reverses were amply confirmed; whereupon, the activity and daring of the enemy were of course redoubled. First, a train sent out 16 miles west for forage was attacked and captured;" with a loss on our part of 250 men and 4 guns; next, a supply train of 240 wagons, which had arrived “from Pine Bluff, and, after being unloaded, had been dispatched” on its return, guarded by Lt.-Col. Drake, 36th Iowa, with the 2d brigade of Gen. Salomon's division, was assailed next day, when 12 miles out, by Shelby's cavalry, which it easily beat off, camping for the night 6 miles farther on its way; making, by great exertion, 22 miles next day; having to corduroy the road much of the distance. Next morning,” while with difficulty making its way through a swamp four miles long, its advance
“Pollard says Porter was already known mong Rebels) as preéminently “the thief of he Mississippi.”
*March 23–4. "April 1. *April 10. *April 12. *April 15. “April 18. *April 20. *April 22. “April 25,
was attacked, as it debouched at MARKs's MILL, by Gen. Fagan's Tebel division, said to be 6,000 strong, while most of our men were still making their way through the swamp with the wagons. A desperate but most unequal fight ensued, in which the 43d Indiana and 36th Iowa did all that men could do when confronted by several times their number; Drake making superhuman ef. forts, and being everywhere at the point of greatest danger, until mortally wounded. Iy this time, the enemy had been enabled to interpose a strong force between our advance, thus engaged, and the 77th Ohio,
guarding our rear; when–nearly step.
(crossing of the Saline)" he was assailed in great force by the Rebels, now led by Kirby Smith in person. Our men had been working in mud and rain throughout the night, getting their pontoons laid and their trains across, having had little or nothing to eat since they left Camden, when, at daybreak, the enemy rushed upon them. The river bottom is here densely wooded, which gave a great advantage to the defensive. It was sodden and trodden into deep mire, over which guns could not be moved unless on corduroy roads, and into which the combatants sank at every The thin brigades of Cols.
one-fourth of our men being killed Engelmann and S. A. Tice had to
and wounded dered. The 77th, when assailed in its turn, of course did the same. Some of our wagons were destroyed; but most of them were captured. The Rebel loss in this engagement was estimated by our men (probably much too high) at 1,000. Our own killed and wounded were fully 250. Our soldiers here captured were started southward at 5 P.M., and compelled to march 52 miles without food or
rest within the next 24 hours. They
reached their destination—the prisoncamp at Tyler, Texas—on the 15th of May. The negro servants of our officers were shot down in cold blood after the surrender. Steele, still at Camden, was soon apprised of this disaster, and regarded it as a notice to quit. Iły daylight of the 27th, his army was across the Washita and in full retreat, amid constant rains, over horrible roads, with the Rebel cavalry busy on every side. At JENKINs's FERRY
the residue surren- bear the brunt of the enemy's attack;
the disparity in numbers being enormous. Part of our army was already across the river, and could with difficulty be brought back. The 33d Iowa, Col. Mackay, covering the rear, was first impetuously attacked and pressed in, though the 50th Indiana had advanced to its support. These fell back behind the 9th Wisconsin and 29th Iowa, which were in turn fiercely assailed; and it became necessary to order up all our troops south of the river to their support. Drig.-Gen. Rice was in immediate command. Three several attacks, with different divisions in front, were made on our steadfast heroes, who repelled each with great slaughter. Our right flank being threatened, the 43d Illinois and part of the 40th Iowa were ordered to cross a swollen, muddy tributary, known as Cox's creek, into which they plunged with a shout, dashed across, and drove off the enemy.
The last grand attack was made on our left and left center, and succeeded in turning our extreme left, held by the 33d Iowa, whose ammunition had, for a second time, become exhausted. Four companies of the 40th Iowa, under Col. Garrett, rushed to its support, and, forming under a withering fire, restored the line; which now advanced along its entire front a full half-mile, driving the enemy steadily for an hour, passing over their dead and wounded. When, at noon, their repulse was complete, our army drew off, by order, and filed across the bridge. This was a combat of infantry alone. We had one section of a battery on the field, but could not use it. A section of a Rebel battery appeared and fired one round, when the 29th Iowa and 2d Kansas charged across the field, and brought away the guns. When all was over, and our men had crossed the river, Kirby Smith sent a flag of truce; but, finding only a burial-party, instead of an army, he made haste to capture these and claim a victory. Our loss in this brilliant struggle was 700 killed and wounded; that of the enemy was said to be 2,300, including three Generals. Fagan was reported between our army and Little Rock, compelling rapid movements on Steele's part to save our dépôts at that city; while the roads were unfathomable. Our soldiers had coffee and whatever else they could pick up; which was not much. Our animals had been starving for days, and were unable to draw our wagons; which, except one for each brigade, Steele ordered to
be destroyed. And so, bridging streams, corduroying swamps, and dragging guns and caissons over them, our army plodded its weary, famished way toward the capital it had left so proudly; being met at length by a supply train, which passed down the road, throwing out “hard-tock’ in profusion—our men scrambling for it in the mud, and devouring it with keen voracity. Steele entered Little Rock May 2d.
Late in June, Shelby crossed the Arkansas eastward of Little Rock, pushing northward to the White, near its mouth ; and was met “near St. Charles by four regiments under Gen. Carr, who worsted him, taking 200 prisoners. Our loss here in killed and wounded was 200; that of the Rebels was estimated by our officers at 500. Marmaduke soon approaching with réenforcements for Shelby, Carr fell back on Clarendon, 20 miles below Duvall's bluff, where he also was rêenforced; when the enemy retreated southward.
There were, of course, a good many partisan encounters and raids during the Summer; in one of which a Union scouting party, under Capt. Jug, dashed “into Benton and killed Brig.-Gen. Geo. M Holt; in another, Col. W. S. Brooks 56th U. S. colored, moving out from Helena with 400 men, was attacked" on Big creek by Gen. Dobbins, with a superior Rebel force, and would have been worsted, had not Maj. Carmichael, who was on a steamboat going down the Mississippi, with 150 of the 15th Illinois cavalry, heard the persistent cannon-firing and resolved to investigate the matter. Brooks had held
* June 27.
* July 25.
* July 26.