(U. S. A.) / Confederate States Army
Headquarters Department of the Gulf
Alexandria, LA., April 2, 1864
Maj. Gen. H.W. Halleck
Headquarters of the Army
General: — Our troops now occupy Natchitoches, and hope to be in Shreveport by 10th of April. I do not fear concentration of the enemy at that point. My fear is that they may not be willing to meet us there, if not, — I shall pursue the enemy into the interior of Texas, — I leave Alexandria for Natchitoches tonight ——— the President has expressed the wish that our ground may be maintained in Texas. ———
I have the honor to be, with highest respect, your obedient servant.
Major General Commanding
(Source-Official Records Union and Confederate Armies - Vol. 34)
Headquarters Trans-Mississippi Dept.
Confederate States Army
General S. Cooper
Adjutant and Inspector General
April 12, 1864
I have the honor to report that the 13th Army Corps, of General Banks Command was singly defeated 3 miles below Mansfield, LA., on the afternoon of the 8th. The 19th
Army Corps coming to its support was repulsed with loss and in disorder, reinforced by parts of the 16th and 17th corps, the enemy in force made a stand at Pleasant Hill, a strong position. 20 miles below Mansfield, our troops attacked with impetuosity on the afternoon of the 9th. Night closed a most sanguinary struggle, in which the enemy were worsted, and retreated under cover of darkness, leaving their wounded on the field. From the best information we can obtain, General Banks command numbered at least 35,000, of which 28,000 were engaged at Pleasant Hill on the 9th. Our calvary (sic) pursued to Natchitoches. General Taylor commanded on the field. The whole disposable infantry force of the department had been concentrated from Arkansas and Texas. Our whole force was under 16,000. We captured 21 pieces of Artillery and over 3,000 prisoners, over 200 wagons. Our loss is very severe - over 2,000 killed and wounded. General Mouton, Colonels, Beard, Noble, Armant, Taylor and Buchel. Among the casualties, providence has given a signal and glorious victory. I shall immediately march to meet Steele, who is advancing with 12,000 from Little Rock.
E. Kirby Smith