August 27, 1863
---At Bayou Meto, east of Little Rock, Marmaduke and Gen. Walker receive a series of attacks from Gen. Davidson’s Federal cavalry. The Yankees are rebuffed, and the Confederates fall back on Little Rock. Gen. Steele and the rest of the Federal force approach Little Rock to follow up Davidson’s advance, in spite of nearly 1,000 of his men down sick from the summer heat and fevers.
---Sergeant Alexander P. Downing, of the 11th Iowa Infantry Regiment, writes in his journal of his division’s sortie into northern Louisiana, and the miseries of campaigning in the American South in the summer:
Thursday, 27th—Leaving our Oak Ridge bivouac early this morning we journeyed fifteen miles more and stopped for the night on the banks of Bayou Said, only seven miles from Monroe, our destination. During the day we crossed another ridge known as Pine Ridge, which is eight miles across and about twenty feet above the surrounding land. It is beautifully covered with yellow pine, growing so straight and tall, seventy-five to one hundred feet. We noticed a few small clearings with log huts. This is the worst bivouac we have yet occupied. It is full of poisonous reptiles and insects, centipedes, jiggers, woodticks, lizards, scorpions and snakes of all kinds—I have never seen the like. Some of the boys killed two big, spotted, yellow snakes and put them across the road—they measured about fifteen feet each. The ground is covered with leaves ten inches deep, and the water of the bayou has a layer of leaves and moss fully two inches thick.
From Daily Observations of the Civil War: dotcw.com