Monday, January 16, 2017

Diary of 2nd Lieutenant George G. Smith: May 19, 1864

Rapid and heavy firing in the rear across the bayou so the First Louisiana marched back toward the landing, and found the whole army crossing on the bridge of steamboats. But the firing was occasioned by our rear guard. Smith was playing another joke similar to the army wagon joke previously related. General Dick Taylor had like the Turk, “been dreaming in his guarded tent of the hour” when the tail end of Banks army, “should bend their knees in suppliance to his power” when they crossed the Atchaffalaya Bayou. But it so happened their knees did not bend at all. The cunning Smith had foreseen what would happen, so he laid another ambush and when the army was nearly across Dick run into it and was terribly cut up. That was the last we saw of Dick Taylor or his army. The rebels had no means of crossing the Bayou, and they very well knew if they did they would be captured or driven back into it. Whole army marched fifteen miles towards the Mississippi river and encamped for the night.

SOURCE: Abstracted from George G. Smith, Leaves from a Soldier's Diary, p. 120-1

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