April 8, 1864: Battle of Mansfield

 

The Union campaigning season of 1864 got off to a rocky start with the defeat of the Union army under Major General Nathaniel Banks at the battle of Mansfield in Northwestern Louisiana, bringing to an end Bank’s abortive Red River Campaign.

The Red River campaign, which began in mid-March 1864, had as its objective the capture of Shreveport, Louisiana, in northwestern Louisiana, the largest city still under the control of the Confederates in the Pelican state, and the capture of hundreds of thousands of bales of cotton on plantations along the Red River.  The bales of cotton were eagerly eyed by Union speculators and the entire campaign had an unsavory plundering feel to it.  In any case the campaign ended in disaster for the Union.

The Confederates were commanded by Major General Richard Taylor, the son of President Zachary Taylor.  Here is his account of the battle from his memoirs Destruction and Reconstruction: (more…)

Published in: on April 8, 2020 at 5:30 am  Comments Off on April 8, 1864: Battle of Mansfield  
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