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25 Series I Volume XXXVIII-I Serial 72 - The Atlanta Campaign Part I

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Page 25 Chapter L. GENERAL REPORTS.

Army Corps, left Vicksburg on the 10th of March and reached the designated point on Red River one day earlier than that appointed by General Banks. The rebel forces at Fort De Russy, thinking to defeat him, left the fort on the 14th to give him battle in the open field; but, while occupying the enemy with skirmishing and demonstrations, Smith pushed forward to Fort De Russy,which had been left with a weak garrison, and captured it, with its garrison, about 350 men, 11 pieces of artillery, and many small-arms. Our loss was but slight. On the 15th he pushed forwarded to Alexandria, which place he reached on the 18th. On the 21st he had an engagement with the enemy at Henderson's Hill, in which he defeated him, capturing 210 prisoners and 4 pieces of artillery. On the 28th he again attacked and defeated the enemy under the rebel General Taylor at Cane River.* By the 26th General Banks had assembled his whole army at Alexandria and pushed forward to Grand Ecore. On the morning of April 6 he moved from Grand Ecore. On the afternoon of the 7th his advance engaged the enemy near Pleasant Hill and drove him from the field. On the same afternoon the enemy made a stand eight miles beyond Pleasant Hill, but was again compelled to retreat. On the 8th, at Sabine Cross-Roads and Peach Hill,the enemy attacked and defeated his advance, capturing 19 pieces of artillery and an immense amount of transportation and stores. During the night General Banks fell back to Pleasant Hill, where another battle was fought on the 9th, and the enemy repulsed with great loss. During the night General Banks continued his retrograde movement to Grand Ecore, and thence to Alexandria, which he reached on the 27th of April. Here a serious difficulty arose in getting Admiral Porter's fleet, which accompanied the expedition, over the rapids, the water having fallen so much since they passed up as to prevent their return. At the suggesting of Colonel (now Brigadier-General) Bailey, and under his superintendence, wing-dams were constructed, by which the channel was contracted so that the fleet passed down the rapids in safety.

The army evacuated Alexandria on the 14th of May,after considerable skirmishing with the enemy's advance, and reached Morganza and Point Coupee near and the of the month. The disastrous termination of this expedition, and the lateness of the season, rendered impracticable the carrying out of my plans of a movement in force sufficient to insure the capture of Mobile.

On the 23rd of March Major-General Steele left Little Rock with the Seventh Army Corps to co-operate with General Banks' expedition on Red River, and reached Arkadelphia on the 28th. On the 16th of April, after driving the enemy before him, he was joined near Elkin's Ferry, in Ouachita County, by General Thayer, who had marched from Fort Smith. After several severe skirmishes, in which the enemy was defeated, General Steele reached Camden, which he occupied about the middle of April. On learning the defeat and consequent retreat of General Banks on Red River and the loss of one of his own trains at Marks' Mills, in Dallas County, General Steele determined to fall back to the Arkansas River. He General Steele on the 26th of April and reached Little Rock on the 2nd of May. On the 30th of April the enemy attacked him while crossing Saline River at Jankin's Ferry,but was repulsed with considerable loss. Our loss was about 600 in killed, wounded, and prisoners. Major-General Canby, who had been assigned to the command of

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*A mistake. A. J. Smith's command reached Cotile Landing March 28.

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Page 25 Chapter L. GENERAL REPORTS.

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