2nd Brigade, 3rd Division, 16th Army Corps,
January 1864 to December, 1864.
Detachment Army Tennessee -- Joined from Army Tenn For Red River Campaign
Major Gen. Andrew J. Smith
Brig. General J. A. Mower
Col. William T. Shaw
14th Iowa, Lieut. Col. Joseph H. Newbold
27th Iowa, Col. James I. Gilbert
32d Iowa. Col. John Scott
24th Missouri, Col. James K. Mills
SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS No. 24.
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE TENN.,
Vicksburg, Miss., March 6, 1864.
I. General Hurlbut will, out of his First and Third Divisions, make up a command of about 7,500 infantry, with two good batteries of artillery, the whole under command of Brig. Gen. A. J. Smith, to embark on the 7th and 8th instant on board of transports, with thirty days' rations, and provided for an expedition up Red River. Only two ambulances per regiment and one for each battery and one wagon for each headquarters will be taken along, and the remaining wagons and sick will be left at Vicksburg, to be taken care of until the command returns to Vicksburg.
II. General McPherson will in like manner make up a command of about 2,500 men, with one good battery, under a brigadier of rank inferior to that of General A. J. Smith, prepared in like manner to embark on boats on the 7th and 8th instant, the general in command to report in person to General A. J. Smith, who will receive full and minute instructions from the general commanding.
III. Corps commanders will at once order a part of the re-enlisted regiments of their corps to their respective States where organized, for a furlough of thirty days therein, with full instructions as to procuring additional recruits and rejoining their proper brigades with dispatch on the expiration of their furloughs. The officers and soldiers thus sent on furloughs should be impressed with the importance of their return on time, as military plans can only be based on a positive knowledge of numbers and time.
IV. Brigadier-General Veatch's command will proceed via Cairo and the Tennessee River, with all its men, guns, transportation, and materials, to join the command of General Dodge at or near Athens, Ala.
V. The chief quartermaster of the department will provide the necessary transportation to carry out these orders and those issued February 28, 1864.(*)
By order of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON,
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SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS No. 14.
HDQRS. 16TH ARMY CORPS
Vicksburg, Miss., March 6, 1864
VI. In obedience to Special Field Orders, No. 24, current series, from the headquarters Department of the Tennessee, the following regiments and batteries of the Sixteenth Army Corps are designated for the Red River expedition under the command of Brig. Gen. A. J. Smith:
From the First Division: Forty-seventh Illinois Volunteers, Eighth Wisconsin Volunteers, Fifth Minnesota Volunteers, Thirty-fifth Iowa Volunteers, Thirty-third Missouri Volunteers, Second Iowa Battery.(+)
From the Third Division: Fifty-eighth Illinois Volunteers, Eighty-ninth Indiana Volunteers, One hundred and nineteenth Illinois Volunteers, Fourteenth Iowa Volunteers, Twenty-seventh Iowa Volunteers,Thirty-second Iowa Volunteers, One hundred and seventy-eighth New York Volunteers, One hundred and seventeenth Illinois Volunteers, Forty-ninth Illinois Volunteers, Twenty-fourth Missouri Volunteers, Third Indiana Battery.
Two wagons and two ambulances to each regiment, one wagon for each battery, and one wagon to each headquarters only will be taken. The remaining wagons, surplus stores, and baggage, with the sick, will be left, with a competent officer in command; an officer of the quartermaster's department, with sufficient surgeons, will also be left under proper orders, and a camp will be designated by Brigadier-General Smith near Vicksburg.
Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Mower will report for orders to Brig. Gen. A. J. Smith, commanding expedition. Brig. Gen. J. M. Tuttle will turn over the records and property of the division headquarters to Brig. Gen. J. A. Mower, and will report in person at Memphis Tenn., to the general commanding corps, for assignment to duty.
By order of Maj. Gen. S. A. Hurlbut:
T. H. HARRIS,
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I--Volume XXXIV--In Four Parts. Part II--Correspondence, etc. Page 514
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE TENNESSEE
Vicksburg, Miss., March 6, 1864.
Brig. Gen. A. J. SMITH,
Comdg. Expedition up Red River, Vicksburg, Miss.:
GENERAL: By an order this day issued you are to command a strong, well-appointed detachment of the Army of the Tennessee, sent to re-enforce a movement against the Red River line, but more especially the fortified positions at Shreveport. You will embark your command as soon as possible, but little encumbered with wagons or wheeled vehicles, but well supplied with fuel, provisions, and ammunition. Take with you the twelve mortars, with their ammunition, and all the 30-pounder Parrotts the ordnance officer will supply; proceed to the mouth of Red River and confer with Admiral Porter; confer with him and in all the expedition rely on him implicitly, as he is the approved friend of the Army of the Tennessee, and has been associated with us from the beginning.
I have undertaken with General Banks that you will be at Alexandria, La., on or before the 17th day of March, and you will, if time allows, co-operate with the navy in destroying Harrisonburg, up Black River or the Washita, but as I passed Red River yesterday I saw Admiral Porter, and he told me he had already sent an expedition to Harrisonburg, so that I suppose that part of the plan will be accomplished before you reach Red River; but in any event be careful to reach Alexandria about the 17th of March. General Banks will start by land from Franklin, in the Teche country, either the 5th or 7th, and will march via Opelousas to Alexandria. You will meet him there, report to him, and act under his orders. My understanding with him is, his forces will still move by land via Natchitoches, &c., to Shreveport, whilst the gun-boat fleet is to ascend the river with your transports in company. Now, Red River is very low for the season, and I doubt if any of the boats can pass the falls or rapids at Alexandria. What General Banks proposes to do in that event I do not know, but my own judgment is that Shreveport ought not to be attacked until the gun-boats can reach it. Not that a force marching by land cannot do it alone, but it would be bad economy in war to invest the place with an army so far from heavy guns, mortars, ammunition, and provisions, which can alone reach Shreveport by water. Still, I do not know about General Banks' plans in that event, but whatever they may be, your duty will be to conform in the most hearty manner. My understanding with General Banks is that he will not need the cooperation of your force beyond thirty days from the date you reach Red River. As soon as he has taken Shreveport or as soon as he can spare you you will return to Vicksburg with all dispatch, gather up your detachments, wagons, tents, transportation, and all property pertaining to so much of the command as belongs to the Sixteenth Army Corps, and conduct it to Memphis, where orders will await you.
My present belief is, your division entire will be needed round with the Army of the Tennessee about Huntsville or Bridgeport. Still, I will leave orders with General Hurlbut at Memphis for you on your return. I believe if water will enable the gun-boats to cross the rapids at Alexandria you will be able to make a quick, strong, and effective blow at our enemy in the West, thus widening the belt of our territory and making the breach between the Confederate Government and its outlying Trans-Mississippi Department more perfect. It is understood that General Steele makes a simultaneous move from Little Rock on Shreveport or Natchitoches, with a force of about 10,000 men.
Banks will have 17,000 and you 10,000. If these can act concentrically and simultaneously you will make short work of it, and then General Banks will have enough force to hold as much of the Red River as he deems wise, leaving you to bring to General Grant's main army the 7,500 men of the Sixteenth Corps. Having faith in your sound judgment and experience, I confide this important and delicate command to you with certainty that you will harmonize perfectly with Admiral Porter and General Banks, with whom you are to act, and thereby insure success.
I am, with respect, &c.,
W. T. SHERMAN,
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I--Volume XXXIV--In Four Parts. Part II--Correspondence, etc. Page 514-516
GENERAL ORDERS No. 3.
HDQRS. RED RIVER EXPEDITION,
Vicksburg, Miss., March 10, 1864.
The Red River expedition will leave Vicksburg to-day at about 3 p.m. The signal for getting up steam will be one gun from these headquarters one hour before starting. The signal for starting will be five whistles from these headquarters on steamer Clara Bell, to be repeated by the boats carrying-division and brigade commanders. Upon the signal for starting being given, the boats will swing out into the stream, each general commanding leading his command, in the following order: First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps; Third Division, Sixteenth Army Corps; General Kilby Smith's division, Seventeenth Army Corps; the boats moving in the order laid down in the inclosed list.
The following signals are established for the running of the boats during the expedition: For starting or hailing, five whistles; for closing up, four whistles; for landing, three whistles. In landing, the divisions must be kept together.
By order of Brig. Gen. A. J. Smith:
First, Clara Bell; second, Des Moines: third, Mars, Forty-seventh Illinois; fourth, Hamilton, Thirty-third Missouri; fifth, Baltic, Fifth Minnesota and Thirty-fifth Iowa; sixth, Chouteau, Eighty-ninth Indiana, Ninth [Indiana] Battery; seventh, Adriatic, Fifty-eighth and One hundred and nineteenth Illinois; eighth, J. H. Lacy; ninth, Southwester, Thirty-second Iowa; tenth, W. L. Ewing, Fourteenth Iowa, Third [Indiana] Battery; eleventh, Sioux City, Twenty-fourth Missouri; twelfth, Diadem, Twenty-seventh Iowa; thirteenth, Tutt, One hundred and seventeenth Illinois; fourteenth. Liberty, Forty-ninth Illinois; fifteenth, Emerald, One hundred and seventy-eighth New York; sixteenth, Hastings; seventeenth, Autocrat; eighteenth, Diana; nineteenth, Raine.
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I--Volume XXXIV--In Four Parts. Part II--Correspondence, etc. Page 545
No. 2.--Reports of Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks, U. S. Army,
commanding expedition and Department of the Gulf.
HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF,
Grand Ecore, La., April 13, 1864
GENERAL: In obedience to orders received from the Government, I left New Orleans on the 22d of March, and established my headquarters at Alexandria on the 25th. The Nineteenth Army Corps and the Third and Fourth Divisions of the Thirteenth, General Ransom commanding, encamped at Alexandria on the 26th of March, the whole under command of Major-General Franklin. Brig. Gen. A. J. Smith, with a part of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Corps, entered the Red River on the 13th, capturing Fort De Russy on the 14th, and moved by the river under convoy of the gun-boats to Alexandria, which was occupied by the naval forces, on the 16th, the cavalry of the Nineteenth Corps, Brig. Gen. A. L. Lee commanding, arriving on the 19th. The very low stage of the river rendered it impracticable for the larger gun-boats to cross the rapids in ascending the river until the 3d of April, the lighter draught boats having crossed with great difficulty a day or two earlier. A very spirited movement was made against the enemy on Henderson's Hill, by a detachment of the Sixteenth Corps, under General Mower, and a detachment of cavalry of the Nineteenth Corps, in which 4 guns and 250 prisoners were taken from the enemy. Col. Horace B. Sargent, First Massachusetts Cavalry, was seriously wounded in this brilliant action.
The steamers assigned to the Marine Brigade, being unable to cross the rapids, were ordered to return to Vicksburg, at the request of General McPherson.
The troops anticipated the movement of the gun-boats, and reached Natchitoches on the 2d of April, General Smith's column by the river, and the Nineteenth and Thirteenth Corps, under General Franklin, by rapid marches. The river was steadily falling, and the larger gun-boats were unable to pass Grand Ecore. The troops of General A. J. Smith's command, except one division, which was ordered to go by the river, took up the line of march for Pleasant Hill, 38 miles distant from Grand Ecore, where I made my headquarters on the evening of the 7th of April, the cavalry commanded by General Lee being several miles in advance. Very heavy rains during this march made the single road within our reach almost impassable, and greatly impeded the progress of the trains and troops. The cavalry, which throughout had constantly pressed the rear guard of the enemy's troops, had several very sharp skirmishes, in all of which we had been successful, although suffering considerable loss. The enemy made his first stand at Wilson's farm, near Pleasant Hill, on the afternoon of the 7th. The fight lasted a couple of hours, when he was driven from the field, with considerable loss in killed, wounded, and prisoners. The next decided stand was at Carroll's Mill, 8 miles beyond Pleasant Hill, where our advance was stubbornly resisted by a still stronger force with artillery. A brigade of infantry was sent forward to support the cavalry and the enemy retired upon their advance. They were driven steadily during the day to a position within 5 miles of Mansfield.
My headquarters on the morning of the 8th were at a bayou, 10 miles beyond Pleasant Hill, where the column halted in order that the rear of the column, still impeded by almost impassable roads, might close up. At 10 o'clock I rode to the front, where some skirmishing had occurred, intending to return to my quarters on the bayou. The forces in the front consisted of the cavalry under Brig. Gen. A. L. Lee and a detachment of the Thirteenth Corps, under Brig. Gen. T. E.G. Ransom. Upon reaching the front I found the line of skirmishers already engaged with the enemy's cavalry, although but few had yet shown themselves. It soon appeared that our march was likely to be resisted by a stronger force than had yet been encountered. I instantly sent orders for the rapid advance of the troops to the front, though without notice or anticipation of a general engagement. The active movements of our skirmishers soon developed a strong line of the enemy in position, extending at some length on the right and left of the line of march in front of the Sabine Cross-Roads. It had been deemed of considerable importance to occupy this position by our forces in order to prevent a concentration of the forces of the enemy. General Ransom moved forward to the support of the cavalry, and the skirmishers opened a running fire, which lasted for some hours, though without developing the full strength of the enemy's forces position. At 4 o'clock on the 8th, a tremendous fire suddenly opened along the whole of this line on the right and left of the road, when it became manifest that the enemy in full force and in strong position was in our front. The contest lasted for an hour, our troops resisting with remarkable spirit and courage the onsets of the enemy, until, utterly overpowered by numbers, they were compelled to fall back upon the rear of the column. A sharp ravine or gully separated the plain where this engagement had commenced from the belt of almost impenetrable woods through which we had marched. On passing this point it appeared that the entire cavalry train, with its artillery, occupied the road nearly to the line of skirmishers. The fatal consequences of this most incautious advance of trains and artillery were apparent upon the breaking of our lines in front of the enemy's position. Upon the retreat of the advanced guard the enemy instantaneously enveloped the train of wagons, and it was impossible to withdraw the artillery in consequence of the preoccupation of the ground by the wagons; and the encumbered roads impeded the movements of troops and caused many prisoners to fall into the hands of the enemy. The disasters of the day are to be attributed to the fatally incautious advance of the large cavalry train and the surplus artillery rather than to the strength of the enemy, his unexpected resistance, or the deficient valor of our troops. It is always difficult to ascertain the position of a concealed adversary, and temporary defeat is to be expected when the front of an advancing column encounters the base of that of the enemy.
Every possible exertion was made to rally and reform the forces which had been engaged, but all efforts failed. The loss of prisoners, artillery, and wagons and the fierce pursuit of a victorious and desperate foe for the moment seemed to paralyze individuals and masses. The troops fell back, for the most part in good order, fighting in front of the enemy, the men retaining their arms until toward sunset, when the First Division of the Nineteenth Corps, Brig. Gen. W. H. Emory commanding, had advanced to our support. Under cover of a line of skirmishers from its First Brigade, the division deployed into line of battle on the crest of a hill, General Dwight's brigade on the right, Colonel Benedict's brigade on the left, and McMillan's in reserve. The unexpected encounter with this force, while in pursuit of what he thought a routed army, was very desperate. He attacked the line at every point with demoniac energy, but the division presented at every onset an immovable wall of fire; and after a contest maintained with the greatest spirit on both sides for more than an hour and a half, the enemy retired from the field with very heavy loss. The forces of the enemy engaged in this affair were the Louisiana troops and a part of the Texan and Arkansas forces, the whole being under the command of General Taylor and numbering about 15,000. General Mouton was killed. On our side all our forces were engaged at different periods of the day, excepting General A. J. Smith's command--the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Corps.
We were compelled, anticipating an attack the next morning from the enemy, either to await the advance of General Smith's corps or to fall back to meet him. The want of water, the weakness of the position we held, and the uncertainty of General Smith being able to reach the position we occupied at day-break, led to the adoption of the second course. Our forces silently retired during the night, and in the morning took up a position on Pleasant Hill, joining the forces of General Smith, who had halted at Pleasant Hill upon receiving information of our movement. Pleasant Hill represents a plain about 1 mile square, the residences of the town being located upon its borders. It has a gentle slope to the west. Surrounding it were extensive tracts of woodland. General Dwight's brigade held the right of the line, with McMillan's brigade in reserve. Shaw's brigade, of the Sixteenth, upon the left and center, and Benedict's brigade, of the Nineteenth, and Lynch's brigade, of the Sixteenth Corps, on the left; Mower's division, of the Sixteenth Corps, in reserve. The enemy began to reconnoiter the new position we had assumed at 11 o'clock on the morning of the 9th, and as early as 1 or 2 o'clock opened a sharp fire of skirmishers, which was kept up at intervals during the afternoon. The approaches of the enemy were covered by thick woods, but it was evident by his maneuvers that he was preparing for an attack upon our left. To protect this, a regiment was placed in the woods, and the troops of the Thirteenth Army Corps, under General Cameron, were directed to occupy the road leading from Pleasant Hill to Natchitoches, covering the train which had been ordered to the rear, in order that the operations of the army might not be encumbered, and at the same time protecting our left flank. Skirmishing continued during the afternoon, with occasional discharges of artillery. About 5 o'clock the enemy abandoned all pretension of maneuvering and made a most desperate attack upon the brigades on the left center, commanded by Colonels Benedict and Shaw. The line wavered at this point momentarily, but, supported by the First Vermont Battery, soon regained its position, and the enemy was repulsed. Finding the position so much stronger than anticipated, or in pursuance of other plans, he gradually worked his way to the center and right, where the same desperate attacks were repeated upon our right flank, the whole force of the enemy gradually concentrating upon our right. The brigades of McMillan and Dwight repelled every attack, and drove him back with terrible loss. The brigade commanded by General Dwight had been suddenly changed at the commencement of the action, so as to cover the right of our center and a part of the right flank, and became in the end the pivot upon which the entire lines changed front to meet the altered plans of the enemy. The battle lasted until 9 o'clock in the evening. The rebels had concentrated their whole strength in futile efforts to break the line at different points. The most severe pressure occurred toward the close of the engagement upon the front occupied by General Dwight's brigade. The troops held in reserve moved forward at the critical moment and maintained our position, from which the enemy was driven precipitately and with terrible destruction of life. He fled to the woods upon the right, and was pursued with great energy by the whole of our forces until it was impossible in the darkness to distinguish friend from foe.
The losses were great on both sides, but that of the rebels, as we could judge from the appearance of the battle-field, more than double our own. It is impossible at this time to state the exact extent of our losses. Col. Lewis Benedict was killed upon the left, at the close of the struggles, having received in the early part of the engagement a severe wound, against which he bore up until the fatal shot deprived him of life. Many most valuable officers fell in leading their troops. We recaptured 3 pieces of cannon, taken on the day previous, 4 or 5 caissons, a large number of small-arms, and 500 prisoners. The loss of the enemy in officers commanding important positions during the day is said by the prisoners captured to have been very great. The rebel officers and men who have fallen into our hands, as well as officers and men of our own command, represent this struggle as more sanguinary and desperate for the brief period it continued than any engagement in which they have ever participated. The rout of the enemy was complete. At the close of the engagement the victorious party found itself without rations and without water. To clear the field for the fight, the train had been sent to the rear upon the single line of communication through the woods, and could not be brought to the front during the night. There was neither water for man or beast, except such as the now exhausted wells had afforded during the day, for miles around.
Previous to the movement of the army from Natchitoches orders had been given to the transport fleet, with a portion of the Sixteenth Corps, under the command of Brig. Gen. Kilby Smith, to move up the river, if it was found practicable, to some point near Springfield Landing with the view of effecting a junction with the army at that point on the river. The surplus ammunition and supplies were on board these transports. It was impossible to ascertain whether the fleet had been able to reach the point designated. The rapidly falling river and the increased difficulties of navigation made it appear almost certain that it would not be able to attain the point proposed. A squadron of cavalry sent down to the river, accompanied by Mr. Young, of the engineer corps, who was thoroughly acquainted with the country, reported on the day of the battle that no tidings of the fleet could he obtained on the river, and we were compelled to assume that the increasing difficulties of navigation had prevented it, even if disaster had not occurred from the obstructions which the enemy had placed in the river. These considerations, the absolute deprivation of water for man or beast, the exhaustion of rations, and the failure to effect a connection with the fleet on the river, made it necessary for the army, although victorious in the terrible struggle through which it had just passed, to retreat to a point where it would be certain in communicating with the fleet and where it would have an opportunity of reorganization. The shattered condition of the Thirteenth Army Corps and the cavalry made this indispensable. The wounded were gathered from the battle-field, placed in comfortable hospitals, and left under the care of competent surgeons and assistants. The dead remaining upon the field, as far as possible, were buried during the night. The next day medical supplies and provisions, with competent attendants, were sent in for the sustenance of the wounded, and at daybreak the army reluctantly fell back to its position at Grand Ecore, for the purpose of communicating with the fleet and obtaining supplies, to the great disappointment of the troops, who, flushed with success, were eager for another fight. A detachment of cavalry under Mr. Young was sent to communicate with Admiral Porter, to notify him of the movements of the army, which message was delivered. Dispatches were also sent to him by the river, by the transport Red Chief, giving the same information. Much anxiety was felt for the safety of the fleet when it was known that they had passed up the river, but all apprehension was relieved on the evening of the 12th by the receipt of information that the gun-boats and all the transports were safe, although they had been heavily assailed by the enemy, with musketry and artillery. Before this information was received, a pontoon bridge had been thrown across Red River, with a view of sending up a force to assist the boats in their passage, and later, upon the receipt of further information, two brigades of General A. J. Smith's command, with two batteries of artillery and a detachment of cavalry, were sent to their assistance. The safety of the army, as well as the success of the expedition, seemed to justify this movement. Leaving Pleasant Hill, it was 15 miles before any water was found. It would have been impossible for the army, without supplies of water and rations, to have sustained another battle, in the condition in which it was then placed.
The troops are in good heart and spirit, and eager for contest. The enemy we encountered numbered from 22,000 to 25,000, embracing all the troops west of the Mississippi, excepting a small force on the Texas coast and a small portion of cavalry on the north side of the river. General Kirby Smith is said by the prisoners to have commanded in person on the 9th, and was supported by Price, Green, and the most distinguished generals of the rebel army. General Mouton was killed, and also two officers commanding brigades.
No communication has been received from General Steele of later date than the 2d of April, when it is represented he had an engagement with a portion of Price's command, which had been repulsed. This is confirmed by the reports of rebel prisoners, who state that General Price (two of whose divisions were at the battle of Pleasant Hill) had a contest with General Steele a week or ten days before the recent battle, from which they had just returned.
We have captured from the enemy in this campaign 23 guns and 1,500 prisoners, who are now in our possession. The only loss we have sustained, except in killed and wounded, was on the morning of the 8th of April, when the train and batteries of the cavalry were abandoned. Sixteen guns, 2 mountain howitzers, and 125 wagons show the extent of this loss, several of which were captured this day. An advance will be commenced immediately upon a line differing somewhat from that adopted first and rendering the column less dependent upon a river proverbially as treacherous as the enemies we fight.
I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,
N. P. BANKS,
Lieut. Gen. U.S. GRANT,
Comdg. Armies of the U.S., Washington, D.C.
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I--Volume XXXIV--In Four Parts. Part 1--Reports. Page 181-185
No. 30.--Reports of Maj. Gen. Andrew J. Smith, U. S. Army,
commanding detachments of Sixteenth and Seventeenth Army Corps.
GENERAL: I have the honor to transmit you herewith the very interesting report of Maj. Gen. A. J. Smith, with sub-reports and statistics of the operations of his command up Red River, La., in the spring of 1864. By its date you will perceive that General Smith did not make the report till quite recently, in pursuance of my request made in person, but now the report is full, satisfactory, and completely fills up a gap in the history of the period. After showing it to the lieutenant-general, I beg you to file it with the Adjutant-General of the Army.
I am, with great respect,
W. T. SHERMAN,
SAINT Louis, Mo., September 26, 1865
GENERAL: In compliance with your request, I have the honor to report in full, as follows, the operations of the detachments of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Army Corps, under my command, forming a part of the Red River expedition in 1864. Partial reports were made and forwarded to Maj. Gen. N. P. Banks from time to time, including lists of casualties and captures. The troops under my command, consisting of five regiments of infantry of the First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, under the immediate command of Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Mower, ten regiments of infantry and two batteries of light artillery of the Third Division, Sixteenth Army Corps (my own division), and six regiments of infantry and one battery of light artillery from the Seventeenth Army Corps, under the command of Brig. Gen. Thomas Kilby Smith, left Vicksburg at 6 p.m. on the 10th day of March, 1864, on transports, pursuant to orders from you, which were in effect as follows:
To proceed with the command to the mouth of the Red River, where I would find Admiral Porter with a portion of the Mississippi Squadron to convoy my fleet up Red River, and after conference with him to proceed to Alexandria, La., and report to Maj. Gen. N. P. Banks, commanding Department of the Gulf, reaching Alexandria, if possible, on the 17th of March, from which point Major-General Banks would assume the command and direction of the expedition in person.
On arriving at the mouth of the Red River, at about 12 m., March 11, 1864, a dispatch was received from Major-General Banks, stating that the heavy rains had so delayed his column that he would not be able to reach Alexandria before March 21, 1864. On conferring with Admiral Porter, I learned that Fort De Russy, a strong fort on the right bank of Red River, equidistant from the mouth of Red River and Alexandria, and mounting ten guns, had been garrisoned by the enemy and which it would be necessary to take before we could proceed to Alexandria. It was therefore deemed best to act against it in conjunction, the army in the rear by land and the navy by river. Leaving the mouth of Red River at about 12 m., March 12, 1864, we proceeded up Red River to the mouth of the Atchafalaya Bayou; thence with the transports down the Atchafalaya Bayou to Simsport, a point on its right bank near the mouth of Bayou De Glaize and 30 miles by land from Fort De Russy, reaching Simsport at about 5 p.m. of the same day.
On the morning of the 13th, I sent out the two divisions of the Sixteenth Army Corps, under command of Brig. Gen. J. A. Mower, with directions to move out about 5 miles on the Fort De Russy road, capture or disperse any parties of the enemy in that vicinity, and gain all the information possible of the state of the roads and position of the enemy. The division of the Seventeenth Army Corps was ordered under arms to be in readiness to support him if necessary. About 3 miles from the landing, in the fork of the Yellow Bayou and Bayou De Glaize, General Mower came upon a brigade of the enemy, under command of General William R. Scurry, occupying a fort, then in process of construction, but who abandoned their work and fled at his approach. He pursued them about 2 miles, capturing 6 of their wagons and about 20 prisoners, when, having gained the necessary information and having no cavalry with which to make an effectual pursuit, I ordered him to return with his command to the landing. I immediately disembarked my land transportation, and, directing the transports to join the Mississippi Squadron under command of Admiral Porter and proceed with it to Fort De Russy, moved forward my whole command on the road to Fort De Russy. Leaving the landing at about 9 p.m., we bivouacked for the night 4 miles from Simsport. At 3 o'clock on the morning of the 14th, I again moved forward toward Fort De Russy. Two bridges which we had to cross were set on fire by the retreating brigade of the enemy, but were extinguished by our advance before they were seriously damaged. On reaching Mansura I learned that the bridges across the Bayou De Glaize had been destroyed, and that the rebel General Walker, commanding a division, had marched out from Fort De Russy with his command to the point where he supposed we would cross the bayou, about 5 miles west from Mansura, had formed a junction with Scurry's brigade, and intended to oppose our crossing. I immediately ordered the bayou to be bridged at Mansura, taking the material from an old cotton-gin, and by crossing companies at the same time on a ferry-boat had my whole command across before General Walker was aware that the advance had halted. Directing General Thomas Kilby Smith, who was at the rear of my column, to keep well closed up and watch carefully the left flank and rear, I at once moved forward toward Fort De Russy, leaving General Walker and his command on the left.
On arriving near the fort I found that it was occupied by a garrison of about 350 men. I therefore halted my column 1 Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â½ miles from the fort, and, after covering my left flank and rear from any attack that Walker could possibly make, directed General Mower to advance with the First and Second Brigades of the Third Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, in line of battle, with skirmishers thrown well to the front, followed by the Third Brigade within supporting distance. As soon as the line came within sight of the fort the enemy opened upon it with five pieces of artillery from the fort, doing, however, but little execution. Their guns on the land side all being en barbette, the skirmishers of the Second Brigade soon silenced them. At about 6.30 p.m. the order to charge was given, and the First and Second Brigades advanced under a scattering fire from the enemy, whose infantry were kept down by my skirmishers, and scaled the parapet within twenty minutes from the time the order to charge was given. The enemy then surrendered. Our loss was 3 killed and 35 wounded; total, 38. Full lists of casualties and captures accompany this report. We captured 319 prisoners, 10 pieces of artillery, and a large quantity of ordnance and ordnance stores, marching during the day 26 miles, bridging a bayou, and capturing the fort before sunset. Among the pieces of artillery taken were two 9-inch Dahlgren guns, which were captured by the enemy, one from the steamer Indianola and one from the Harriet Lane. Owing to obstructions in the river the gun-boat fleet did not arrive until after the fort was captured. Of the artillery captured, four pieces were in the fort and six in a water battery on the bank of the river, about 400 yards from the fort, connected with it by a covered way. Two of the guns in the water battery were casemated, and the casemate plated with a double thickness of railroad iron. The fleet arrived during the night, and the gun-boats passed up the river. The artillery captured, with the exception of two 6-pounder iron guns, was taken on board the several boats of the fleet. All ordnance and ordnance stores captured have been taken up and accounted for by Lieut. J. B. Pannes, Seventeenth New York Infantry, acting ordnance officer.
On the evening of the 15th instant I sent Brigadier-General Mower, with the First and Third Divisions, Sixteenth Army Corps, on transports to occupy Alexandria, retaining at Fort De Russy General Thomas Kilby Smith's command, of the Seventeenth Army Corps, for the purpose of dismantling the fort and destroying effectually the magazines and casemates. This was accomplished on the 15th, 16th, and 17th, by tearing down the revetments on the inside of the parapet and digging ditches across the parapet, so that, from the nature of the soil of which it was constructed, the first rain-storm would nearly level it. The magazines, which were bomb-proof and four in number, were totally destroyed by blowing them up with a portion of the powder captured. The casemates were destroyed by piling wood under them and burning them down, the iron bending with the heat. Before they were burned the gun-boat Essex tested their strength with a 100-pounder Parrott at a distance of about 300 yards, firing three shots. The projectile in each case cut through the iron plating, but was stopped by the oak backing. The two 6-pounder iron guns were also destroyed by bursting. On the morning of the 18th, I left with the remainder of my command for Alexandria, at which place we arrived about 5 p.m. same day.
General Mower, upon his arrival on the 16th, found the place had been evacuated but a few hours before, the enemy retreating toward Natchitoches. He took possession of three pieces of artillery and some ordnance stores, which the enemy had not time to remove. My instructions being to report to Major-General Banks at this place I disembarked my command and went into camp, he not having arrived. On the morning of the 19th 100 cavalry, sent forward with dispatches from the advance of the land column of General Banks' command, arrived. On the 20th, the Cavalry Division of his command, under command of Brig. Gen. A. L. Lee, arrived and went into camp, and the same day Brigadier-General Stone, chief of staff, with a portion of the staff of Major-General Banks, came by river. Learning that a portion of General Dick Taylor's command were in the vicinity of Henderson's Hill, on Bayou Rapides, about 22 miles from Alexandria, on the direct road to Natchitoches, I directed Brigadier-General Mower to take the First Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, one regiment of infantry and one battery of light artillery from the Third Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, and the First Brigade, Cavalry Division, of General Lee's command, and proceed to Henderson's Hill, dislodge the enemy from that position, and send forward his cavalry to Red River, clearing all the country between Bayou Rapides and Red River. Leaving Alexandria on the morning of the 21st, General Mower reached the vicinity of Henderson's Hill the same night and found it occupied by the enemy with both cavalry and artillery. Leaving three regiments of infantry, one section of the battery, and the cavalry to occupy the attention of the enemy in front, he took two regiments of infantry, one section of the battery, and the Sixteenth Indiana Mounted Infantry and made a detour to the left under cover of the darkness and came in on their rear. Here, capturing a courier who had been sent from the hill with dispatches for General Dick Taylor, he succeeded in obtaining the countersign, and learning from the dispatches that there was only one regiment of cavalry and one battery of artillery on the hill he moved forward and completely surprised the whole force, capturing them in detail at their camp-fires without a shot being fired. The regiment was the Second Louisiana (rebel) Cavalry, with horses and equipments, and Edgar's battery of light artillery, of four pieces, all complete, the prisoners numbering 262. The detachment making the capture had marched that day over 30 miles through rain and mud. On the morning of the 22d, General Mower returned with his command to Alexandria.
On the 26th, General Banks having arrived, I was directed by him to march my command to Cotile Landing and await the arrival of our transports, it being considered dangerous to attempt to take them over the falls with the troops on them. I arrived with the command at Cotile Landing on the 28th; embarked the troops as the transports arrived, and on the 2d of April proceeded up the river, with orders to report to Major-General Banks at Grand Ecore. Arrived at Grand Ecore on the 3d, and was ordered by Major-General Banks to be in readiness to leave for Shreveport by land on the 7th instant, and to send the transports with all surplus subsistence stores, baggage, &c., with sufficient guard, by water to the mouth of Loggy Bayou; at that point to await further orders. I accordingly detached Brig. Gen. Thomas Kilby Smith with his Seventeenth Corps for duty with the boats, and directed him to consult with Admiral Porter as to the time and manner of starting. I left with the two divisions of the Sixteenth Corps on the 7th instant, bringing up the rear of the land column. General T. Kilby Smith also left on the same day with the transports, and his report of this part of the expedition is herewith submitted. Moving toward Pleasant Hill in the rear of the land column, the trains of the cavalry, Thirteenth, and Sixteenth Corps, all being in front of me, and the roads very bad, my progress was consequently slow. We kept well closed up, however, on the train, and encamped on the night of the 7th about 8 miles from Grand Ecore. Moving forward at daylight on the morning of the 8th, we encamped at night about 2 miles from Pleasant Hill, having marched about 21 miles. Heard heavy cannonading in front during the afternoon, and sent forward word to General Banks my exact position, and also stated that if he desired I could pass the train with a portion or all of my command. Soon after I learned that the cause of the cannonading was an attack by the enemy upon the cavalry and the Thirteenth Army Corps, which were in the advance about 8 miles beyond Pleasant Hill, and whom the enemy had repulsed and totally routed, capturing their artillery and wagons, and with a loss of nearly one-half the Thirteenth Corps, and that the enemy were only checked by night and the Nineteenth Corps. Ordering my men to bivouac upon their arms, and throwing out pickets to their flanks and rear, we rested until morning, when, by permission of General Banks, I moved forward to Pleasant Hill and formed line of battle across the Mansfield road. During the night and morning the remaining and disorganized parties of the cavalry and Thirteenth Army Corps arriving, passed through the lines and halted. Early in the morning they, with the trains, were ordered to proceed immediately to Grand Ecore, leaving on the field part of the Nineteenth and two divisions of the Sixteenth Army Corps. Line of battle was formed as follows: First Brigade of General Emory's command of the Nineteenth Corps on the extreme right and right flank, the Third and First Divisions, Sixteenth Army Corps, on the right and left center, and the remaining troops of the Thirteenth Corps on the extreme left and left flank, my right lapping a brigade on Emory's left and about 400 yards in its rear. The Second Brigade, Third Division, Col. William T. Shaw commanding, was ordered early in the morning to report to Brigadier-General Emory, and was stationed in front of the center of his command.
The enemy's skirmishers appeared on Colonel Shaw's front about noon, and there was desultory skirmishing at different parts of the line until about 4.30 p.m., when the enemy made his attack on the right center, driving in the outposts and the brigade of the Nineteenth Corps in my front through my line, they reforming in my rear. Advancing my line slightly to be able to close with and support Shaw's brigade, the battle immediately became general. The enemy had been re-enforced during the afternoon with two divisions of infantry from Price's command, and their troops, flushed with their success of the previous day, seemed determined to break through our line, charging it with desperate energy. Fearing that Shaw's brigade might be totally enveloped, I directed him to fall back and connect with my right. In the mean time the enemy's right had advanced beyond my extreme left and were taken in flank and rolled up by the First Brigade, Third Division, Col. William F. Lynch commanding. Seizing the opportunity I ordered a charge by the whole line, and we drove them back, desperately fighting, step by step across the field, through the wood, and into the open field beyond, fully a mile from the battle-field, when they took advantage of the darkness and fell back toward Mansfield thoroughly whipped and demoralized. In the charge we captured nearly 1,000 prisoners, five pieces of artillery, and six caissons. The artillery was brought off, but the caissons were left until morning. The casualties in my command were as follows: Killed, 98; wounded, 529; missing, 124; total, 751.(*) A large proportion of the missing were of the Thirty-second Iowa, which was on the left of Shaw's brigade, and were nearly surrounded in the early part of the battle during the enemy's first charge. The loss of the enemy in killed was unusually severe.
A brigade of cavalry which charged Shaw's brigade in the early part of the action were almost annihilated, he allowing them to approach within 50 yards before opening fire. The prisoners captured were many of them from Missouri regiments, belonging to the divisions that had re-enforced the enemy during the engagement. The darkness compelled us to cease pursuit.
Anticipating the order to follow up our success by a vigorous pursuit, the next morning I sent the Third Brigade, Third Division, Col. R. M. Moore commanding, about 2 Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â½ miles out on the road taken by the retreating enemy, with orders to watch their movements and gain all the information possible, and fell back with the remainder of my command and bivouacked in line on the field of battle. The opinion of Major-General Banks as to the action of the command and its results may be gathered from his own words to me on the field just after the final charge, when, riding up to me, he remarked, shaking me by the hand, "God bless you, general; you have saved the army."
About 12 o'clock on the night of the 9th, I received orders from General Banks to have my command in readiness to move at 2 o'clock in the morning, and at that hour to withdraw them silently from the field and follow the Nineteenth Army Corps back to Grand Ecore, making such disposition of my troops and trains as would enable me to repel an attack on the rear of the column. I represented to him that the dead of my command were not buried, and that I had not the means of transporting my wounded; that many of the wounded had not yet been gathered in from the field, and asked of him permission to remain until noon the next day to give me an opportunity to bury my dead and leave the wounded as well provided for as the circumstances would permit. I also urged the fact that General Thomas Kilby Smith's command, then 30 miles above us on transports in the river, would undoubtedly be captured and the transports lost if left to themselves. The permission to remain was, however, refused and the order to move made peremptory. I therefore provided as well as possible for the wounded, left medical officers to attend to them, and moved at the designated hour, following the Nineteenth Corps. We reached Grand Ecore on the evening of the 11th, no attack on the rear having been made by the enemy, and went into camp. On the evening of the 13th, nothing having been heard from a portion of our transports save that they had been attacked with infantry and artillery upon both sides of the river, I marched up with two brigades of my command on the north bank of the river to help them through, if possible, crossing the river at Grand Ecore at about 4 p.m. We reached Campti, 12 miles above, the same night and met a portion of the fleet there, they having by energy, good judgment, and rare good fortune succeeded in running the batteries and land forces of the enemy without the loss of a boat, though some were completely riddled with shot. The report of Brig. Gen. T. Kilby Smith accompanies this, and you are also respectfully referred to the report of Rear-Admiral D.D. Porter, already on file. On the 14th, I returned to Grand Ecore with the rear of the fleet.
Pursuant to orders from Major-General Banks, after placing a proper guard on each of my transports, with directions for them to proceed down the river to Alexandria, I moved with the remainder of my command on the 20th to Natchitoches. Occupying this place as a point de resistance with my troops, the remainder of General Banks' forces passed between us and the river, continuing the retreat to Alexandria.
On the morning of the 21st, I left Natchitoches and fell in the rear of the land column, which position I occupied with my command, alternating the divisions day by day until we reached Alexandria. From the day of our leaving Natchitoches, the enemy pushed the pursuit vigorously; the rear was skirmishing every day and nearly all day. Twice during the march we were obliged to form line and teach them a lesson. At Cloutierville, on the 23d, they charged the rear division, General T. Kilby Smith's, but he repulsed them neatly and thoroughly after about an hour's fighting. During this engagement in the rear, the advance, having reached Cane River, found the bluffs on the other side occupied by a small force of the enemy, who disputed the crossing. Although the cavalry, Thirteenth, and Nineteenth Corps, were in advance of me, and notwithstanding the engagement with the enemy's cavalry in the rear, General Banks sent back an order for me to send General Mower with a strong brigade to force the passage of Cane River. Fearing to weaken my line during the engagement, I answered him in substance that it would be impracticable for me to comply with the order. Later in the day the passage was easily forced by detachments of the Thirteenth and Nineteenth Corps. On the afternoon of the 26th, we reached Alexandria and went into camp in line of battle, the Nineteenth Corps on the right, the Thirteenth Corps in advance of the center, and my command on the left. We remained in the vicinity of Alexandria in the same relative position until the 13th of May, the interim being occupied in getting the gun-boats over the falls and daily skirmishing with the enemy.
On the 28th of April, the enemy having driven in the skirmishers of the Thirteenth Corps, the corps fell back reluctantly, in compliance, it was said, with orders from Major-General Banks, three times repeated, abandoning and setting on fire their camp and garrison equipage, stores, and forage. Not knowing that it was done by order, I took the Second Brigade, Third Division, Sixteenth Army Corps, Col. William T. Shaw commanding, and put out the fire, rescued the stores, and saved much of the camp and garrison equipage. This brigade remained on the ground until the next morning, when it returned to its camp.
On the 13th of May, the boats having passed the falls, the retreat was again resumed, my command falling into its old place in the rear. Continuing down the river as far as Fort De Russy, in order to be at hand to protect the boats if necessary, we reached the fort on the night of the 14th. From this point the guards on the boats were considered sufficient to protect them, and they were therefore ordered around to Simsport, on the Atchafalaya Bayou, toward which the land column was turned. On the 15th instant, while crossing Avoyelles Prairie, a brigade of the enemy's cavalry, with about twelve pieces of artillery, appeared in front and attempted to delay and annoy the column. My command was ordered forward into line on the right of the Nineteenth Corps, the Thirteenth Corps being on the extreme left. Line being formed, I sent Capt. William S. Burns, acting assistant inspector-general of my staff, to report the fact and ask for instructions, which were given him by Brig. Gen. William Dwight, chief of staff of Major-General Banks, in the following words: "Say to General Smith that the Thirteenth Corps will press their (the enemy's) right. He with his command will attack their left, while with the Nineteenth Corps we pierce their center."
As the several commands moved forward in line to execute these instructions, the brigade of cavalry galloped away, taking their artillery with them. We reached the vicinity of Simsport on the 16th, skirmishing with the pursuing cavalry. Our boats being there, a bridge was made of them across the Atchafalaya, and on the 17th, 18th, and 19th, the Thirteenth and Nineteenth Corps and the cavalry crossed the bayou the 18th of May, while lying in line protecting the crossing of the other corps, the enemy made a severe attack on the lines, driving in the skirmishers. I was at the time at the landing, but had left orders with General Mower, in case the enemy attacked, to use whatever force was necessary to drive them back. He therefore ordered the line forward, driving them easily for about 2 miles across an open field and through a briar thicket, thickly interspersed with dead trees on the other side, beyond which he found them drawn up in force far outnumbering his, with about twenty pieces of artillery posted to support them. Withdrawing to the edge of the first field General Mower formed line, concealed by the thicket, and bringing his artillery up to close range awaited their advance. They soon came, when, after giving them a few rounds of canister and case-shot, he ordered a charge with the bayonet, repulsing them with terrible slaughter and driving them again through the thicket into the field beyond under protection of their artillery.
Withdrawing to his old position near the thicket they charged him again, and were a second time driven back with severe loss. The firing during the second charge set the thicket on fire, so that it formed a barrier impassable for either party. Withdrawing his troops to the open field, General Mower sent those that had been the heaviest engaged to their camps and formed a new line with the remainder, who bivouacked in line during the night. We captured 156 prisoners in the charge. Our loss was: Killed, 38; wounded, 226; missing, 3; total, 267. Lists of casualties and captures are herewith inclosed, with reports of brigade and division commanders. No further attack was made, and pursuit by the enemy stopped from this day.
I crossed the bridge on the 20th, bringing up the rear, and marched to Red River Landing, on the Mississippi River, whither our boats had been sent, and reported, by order of Major-General Banks, to Maj. Gen. E. R. S. Canby for further orders, and was by him directed to proceed to Vicksburg with my command, which I did, reaching that place on the 23d of May, having been gone seventy-four days.
The results of the expedition may be summed up as follows: I captured with my command 22 pieces of artillery, 1,757 prisoners, and Fort De Russy, with a strong casemated battery, which the gunboats would not have been able to pass. My loss was 153 killed, 849 wounded, and 133 missing; total, 1,135; also 1 6-mule wagon. My entire command numbered originally 9,200.
Of the general officers attached to my command I cannot speak too highly. Brig. Gen. (now Maj. Gen.) J. A. Mower, by his perception and prompt action at Fort De Russy, Henderson's Hill, and Pleasant Hill, and by his gallantry and skill at Yellow Bayou, near Simsport, May 18, has won the right to a high estimate and position in the annals of the war. Quick perception, ready courage, an abundant vitality, added to skill and education, give him the power to sway men as if by magnetism. Brig. Gen. Thomas Kilby Smith, with excellent judgment and skill, brought the boats safely through the intricacies and shoals of Red River back to Grand Ecore, although continually under fire. His repulse of the cavalry charge upon his division at Cloutierville was well and neatly done. I commend him as a gallant officer and gentleman. I had hearty and energetic co-operation on the part of my brigade commanders, two of whom, Col. S. G. Hill, Thirty-fifth Iowa, and Col. William F. Lynch, Fifty-eighth Illinois, were severely wounded. Col. William T. Shaw, Fourteenth Iowa, commanding brigade, proved himself an excellent officer and rendered invaluable service at Fort De Russy, Pleasant Hill, and Yellow Bayou. He is a brave, energetic, and intelligent officer.
To all the officers and men of the command praise is due for their cheerful, enduring, and ready obedience. Each and all the officers of my staff were untiring and active in their respective duties. I am much indebted to their intelligent action and ready appreciation of the situation. Arms, eyes, and heads seemed their main attributes during the whole campaign. I add their names as a matter of record, as their well-deserved promotion has overtaken all who are now in service: Capt. John Hough, assistant adjutant-general; Capt. William S. Burns, Fourth Missouri Cavalry, acting assistant inspector-general; Capt. J. J. Lyon, Twenty-fourth Missouri Infantry, judge-advocate; Surg. N. R. Derby, medical director, wounded May 18; Maj. E. A. Warner, Fourteenth Iowa Infantry, provost-marshal; Capt. Ross Wilkinson, aide-de-camp; Capt. Samuel Caldwell, Eighth Illinois Infantry, acting aide-de-camp; Lieut. George W. Fetterman, Fifteenth U. S. Infantry, assistant commissary of musters; Lieut. John B. Pannes, Seventeenth New York Infantry, ordnance officer.
I have the honor to be, with much respect, your obedient servant,
A. J. SMITH,
Maj. Gen. W. T. SHERMAN.
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I--Volume XXXIV--In Four Parts. Part 1--Reports. Page 303-312
No. 56.--Reports of Brig. Gen. T. Kilby Smith, U.S. Army,
commanding Provisional Division, Seventeenth Army Corps.
HDQRS. DIVISION, SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
On Steamer Hastings, Grand Ecore, La., April 16, 1864.
CAPTAIN: I respectfully submit the following report, in accordance with orders from General A. J. Smith, commanding Red River expedition: On the 7th instant I received the following order and letter of instructions from General A. J. Smith:
HEADQUARTERS RED RIVER EXPEDITION,
On Steamer Clara Bell, April 7, 1864.
Brig. Gen. T. K. SMITH,
Comdg. Division, Seventeenth Army Corps:
General: You will take charge of the river transportation belonging to the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Army Corps, and will conduct it to the mouth of Loggy Bayou, opposite Springfield, at the foot of Lake Cannisnia, and will then, after a careful reconnaissance toward Springfield, disembark one regiment and push it forward to Bayou Pierre, and hold the bridge at that point. On arriving at Mansfield I will endeavor to communicate with you at Springfield, and it may be send for supplies. From Mansfield you will receive further orders in regard to your movement toward Shreveport.
I am, general, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
A. J. SMITH,
With the letter of instructions I received a verbal order from General Smith to communicate with Rear-Admiral Porter previous to starting, and intimation to consult with him during the progress of the fleet. In obedience to orders, on the 7th of April, I embarked my command on the following steam-boats: Hastings, Emerald, W. L. Ewing, Thomas E. Tutt, and the Sioux City, and the following boats reported to me for orders: Clara Bell, Liberty, Hamilton, J. H. Lacy, Mars, Des Moines, Adriatic, Southwester, and Diadem, and issued the following order:
SPECIAL ORDERS No. 21.
HEADQUARTERS DIVISION, SEVENTEENTH ARMY CORPS,
Steamer Hastings, Grand Ecore, La., April 7, 1864.
I. The fleet will be prepared to sail at 11 a.m. in the following order: 1, Hastings; 2, Clara Bell; 3, Emerald; 4, W. L. Ewing; 5, Liberty; 6, Hamilton; 7, J. H. Lacy; 8, Thomas E. Tutt; 9, Sioux City; 10, Mars; 11, Des Moines; 12, Adriatic; 13, Southwester; 14, Diadem.
The same orders and signals as heretofore will be enforced and strictly followed. Col. J. B. Moore, commanding First Brigade, will furnish a company, properly officered, to each of the following boats as a guard: Clara Bell, Liberty, Hamilton, and J. H. Lacy. Col. L. M. Ward, commanding Second Brigade, will furnish a like guard to the steamers Mars, Des Moines, Adriatic, Southwester, and Diadem.
The officers in command of the guard will be held strictly accountable for the conduct of their men. The guard to be divided into proper reliefs, and must not take off their accouterments while on guard. None of the transports will land or troops debark, except by order of the commanding general or brigade commanders.
The War of the Rebellion: A Compilation of the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, Series I--Volume XXXIV--In Four Parts. Part 1--Reports. Page 379.