126 LOUISIANA AND THE TRANS-MISSISSIPPI. [CHAP. XLVL
volleys of musketry and salvos of artillery. The hopes of the army
are concentrated in the reserve, which was General Emory's division
of the Nineteenth Army Corps. They were on their knees, not firing
a gun until the charge of the enemy reached about 50 yards, when a
most furious fire was delivered and continued ; not a man wavered.
Like a wall of fire they held their position, inflicting the most terri-
ble punishment until night, when the battle closed.
At night our line fell back to Pleasant Hill for water and supplies.
They followed us very closely, and at about 4 p2m. of the following
day engaged us again with renewed vigor and increased forces. As
upon the day before, our first line was forced in by overpowering_
numbers. The Sixteenth Corps came up upon a most magnificent
charge, led by Generals Stone and Mower, accompanied by several
members of the staff. On they went, with terrible effect, turning
the enemy and driving him most disastrously, and continued in pur-
suit until night. In this action we took a large number of prison-
ers and guns that had been taken from us the day before. We have ?ª
now fallen back to our base on Red River, to resupply ourselves with
rations and ammunition preparatory to a new advance.
These fights have been as sanguinary as any I have ever seen. The
list of killed and wounded .is tremendous. For four days I slept on
the ground, with nothing but an overcoat, without removing an item
of apparel, and with nothing to eat from breakfast to breakfast,
and then nothing but hard bread and salt meat. I shall send you
full reports as soon as possible to obtain them. Please forward the
inclosed letter, addressed to General McClernand; as soon as possible
by a trusty messenger. I return your letter addressed to Colonel
Benedict. He was killed at the action near Mansfield.
In reply to your communication of the 4th, I beg leave to report
that copies of every order issued have been sent you.
I am, colonel, sincerely yours,
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
Grand Ecore, La., April 11, 1864.
Maj. Gen. JOHN A. MCCLERNAND,
Comdg. Thirteenth Army Corps, Pass Cavallo, Tex.:
GENERAL : The major-general commanding the department desires
that you return to New Orleans, and thence to his headquartei's in
the field, to assume personal command of that portion of the Thir-
teenth Army Corps now serving in the campaign. He further
desires that you bring from Pass Cavallo all the white infantry at
that place, except the necessary garrison for defense of the position
in conjunction with the gun-boats of the navy. This necessary gar-
rison, the major-general commanding thinks, should not exceed
2,000 infantry of the Thirteenth Army Corps, the field and heavy
artillery troops now there, and the cavalry which has been hereto-
fore assigned to duty with you which is deemed sufficient for scout-
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
GEO. B. DRAKE,
GEO. B. DRAKE,