Thursday, December 29, 2016

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant George G. Smith: April 30, 1864

First Louisiana moved a short distance to the left, on higher ground opposite the falls, into some negroe's cabins. Meanwhile Porter came down the river with fifty gunboats, transports and other craft. One large transport the Eastport had run onto the logs and had to be blown up, but after hard fighting all the way he arrived with his fleet to the falls to find the water so low they were impassable. What was to be done? Banks' plan was to gather all the cotton and load it on transports, blow up the gunboats and retreat. This Porter would not do. Meanwhile the latter had sent a dispatch to Washington stating the condition of affairs and General Canby was sent out to relieve Banks with orders to stay with the army in Alexandria until the gunboats were relieved.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 107

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