The flooded countryside between Pointe Clear and New Carthage forced the Federals to look for another way to reach Somerset. Gen. A.P. Hovey's division was given the task of opening the road known to bound Bayou Vidal on the West.
Leaving Dawson's plantation on April 21, 1863 Hovey's Troops marched to Dunbar's plantation. Here the Federals discovered a mile and one-half of the road between Mill and Nigger Bayous was under water. Hovey's engineers bridged Bayou Vidal. The road was cut through the heavy timber on the east side of the stream, and a slough was bridged. Reaching a point below the flooded area, Hovey's soldiers bridged Bayou Vidal a second time. Much of this work was of the hardest kind, the soldiers having to labor in water up to their necks. By April 26th, the three bridges, totaling 962 feet in length, were open for traffic. During the next several weeks, thousands of Union troops followed the route pioneered by Hovey.