Page:Confederate Military History - 1899 - Volume 10.djvu/86

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ing orders to the people under his authority, or finding subjects therefor, he spent the rest largely planning small campaigns, worth only a bragging report from himself or his agent. At ease in his office in New Orleans, he sent forth regiments to support his plans, howsoever insignificant they might be. He was careful, where he could be so, to see that with the troops there should always be a gun-boat or two to keep them company. He had begun by pinning his fate to the fleet; but it was to the fleet commanded by Farragut, which he had seen from a gunboat victoriously passing the fire of the forts. In Farragut's fleet he continued to believe until Banks superseded him on the 8th of November, 1862. It is useless to follow his troops in their marauding expeditions which penetrated into the interior of the State within easy distance of New Orleans. The history of the war in Louisiana is full of skirmishes, the occasional result of such expeditions. Some have already been mentioned.

Arrayed against him, Weitzel heard that in the Lafourche district Brig.-Gen. Alfred Mouton, an able soldier, would be pitted. On October 24th the Federal general left Carrollton with his command. With him moved the inevitable parade of gunboats. Going up the river he entered Donaldsonville without opposition on the 25th. A reconnoissance drove in our pickets, and reported the Confederates in force on both sides of the Lafourche. He purposed to start the next day with his train and caissons, with Thibodeaux as his objective point. Leaving Donaldsonville, he marched on the left bank until he was near Napoleonville, where he bivouacked in line of battle. Weitzel was fox-like. With a view to preventing the Confederates from making use of their flatboat ferries, he summarily took in tow a flat-boat bridge, meanwhile destroying every boat he passed. He continued deliberately his march down the Lafourche to within ten miles above Labadieville. There he heard that the Confederates were in force about one