Page:Southern Historical Society Papers volume 33.djvu/97

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Confederate Cavalry Around Port Hudson. 93

The writer assisted his wounded comrade back to the surburbs, and having stanched his wound, he had the good people of the house to promise to care for him, and then returned to his command.

As soon as Stockdale found that he had the support of Griffith, with the mounted infantry, he charged the head of Grierson's col- umn and drove it back. Griffith deployed the Eleventh and Sev- enteenth (consolidated) Arkansas regiment and pushed through the woods, attacking vigorously the Federals, who had also dismoun- ted and were fighting on foot. These "Rackensacks," as Griffith loved to call his men, sustained their splendid reputation as fighters, driving the enemy before them. Colonel Powers, taking Gage's Louisiana Battalion, and Garland's command, made a detour and struck Grierson's rear and left flank, causing a complete rout, the left falling back in confusion and disorder, causing the center to waver and give back; Stockdale at once taking advantage of this confusion in the enemy's ranks, charged down the road, while Grif- fifth's infantry pushed forward through the dense woods, com- pletely routing the enemy, who was then thrown into greater con- fusion by Powers pouring in an enfilading fire on the left of Grier- son's line. Grierson fled from the field, leaving his dead and wounded behind. The Confederates followed, but night coming on, abandoned the pursuit.

The loss to the Confederates was considerable, both in killed and wounded, owing to the fighting being at close quarters. The enemy's losses were still greater.

After Grierson's defeat at Clinton the cavalry had but little to do outside of scouting and reconnoitering close into the Federal lines, but at no time did General Banks deem it advisable to send out another expedition against that small cavalry brigade that besieged him while he was besieging Port Hudson.

About this time there was planned at Colonel Power's headquart- ers, by Captain McKowen, who commanded a company of scouts, an expedition for fearlessness and recklessness almost without a parallel. Captain McKowen knew not what fear was, and after ob- taining permission from Colonel Powers, proceeded to at once carry out his project, which was to capture Major General Neal Dow, of the Federal Army, commanding a division in front of Port Hudson. It may be remembered that while Lee and Jackson were confront- ing Meade's Army in Virginia, a desperate effort was made by a