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Friday 2-17-99

Made our “forts” stronger & had a little rest. Yet the sharpshooters were very annoying. At sunset we were advanced under Col. Smith into the jungle where, by a left turn, we expected to drive them into el rio. But they slipped out and flanked upon the rt. So we fell back to our former position –the 2nd retreat under Col. Smith. The ground we went over was frightful, it being covered with a thick growth of broad leafed bananas & thorny bamboos & cut up by stone quarries, long ago turned over to the poor to live in, & a good place to hide. Holes & tunnels & mounds made it very hard to keep a good alignment, and one did not know were his rt. or lft. man was –all the same it was a bad move– if a poor Corp’s word has any weight. 4th days fight.