Civil War Battles in Louisiana

All Civil War battles in Louisiana. They are in the order that they occurred in during the Civil War.

Civil War Battles in Louisiana

Civil War Battles in Louisiana


Forts Jackson and St. Philip

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: None

Location: Plaquemines Parish

Campaign: Expedition to and Capture of New Orleans (1862)

Date(s): April 16-28, 1862

Principal Commanders: Flag-Officer David G. Farragut [US]; Brig. Gen. Johnson K. Duncan and Cdr. John K. Mitchell [CS]

Forces Engaged: West Gulf Blockading Squadron [US]; Garrisons of Forts Jackson and St. Philip and the crews of various ships [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 1,011 total (US 229; CS 782)

Description: Early Union plans had called for the division of the Confederacy by seizing control of the Mississippi River. One of the first steps in such operations was to enter the mouth of the Mississippi River, ascend to New Orleans and capture the city, closing off the entrance to Rebel ships. In mid-January 1862, Flag-Officer David G. Farragut undertook this enterprise with his West Gulf Blockading Squadron. The way was soon open except for the two forts, Jackson and St. Philip, above the Head of the Passes, approximately seventy miles below New Orleans. In addition to the forts and their armament, the Confederates had placed obstructions in the river and there were a number of ships, including two ironclads, to assist in the defense. Farragut based his operations from Ship Island, Mississippi, and on April 8, he assembled 24 of his vessels and Comdr. David D. Porter’s 19 mortar schooners near the Head of the Passes. Starting on the 16th and continuing for seven days, the mortar schooners bombarded Fort Jackson but failed to silence its guns. Some of Farragut’s gunboats opened a way through the obstruction on the night of the 22nd. Early on the morning of the 24th, Farragut sent his ships north to pass the forts and head for New Orleans. Although the Rebels attempted to stop the Union ships in various ways, most of the force successfully passed the forts and continued on to New Orleans where Farragut accepted the city’s surrender. With the passage of the forts, nothing could stop the Union forces: the fall of New Orleans was inevitable and anti-climatic. Cut off and surrounded, the garrisons of the two forts surrendered on the 28th.

Result(s): Union victory


New Orleans

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: None

Location: Orleans Parish and St. Bernard Parish

Campaign: Expedition to and Capture of New Orleans (1862)

Date(s): April 25 May 1, 1862

Principal Commanders: Flag-Officer David G. Farragut and Maj. Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler [US]; Maj. Gen. Mansfield Lovell [CS]

Forces Engaged: Department of the Gulf [US]; Department No. 1 [CS]

Estimated Casualties: None

Description: Following the passage of forts Jackson and St. Philip, near the mouth of the Mississippi River, on April 24, 1862, the Union occupation of New Orleans was inevitable. Union Flag-Officer David G. Farragut, with his squadron, continued up the Mississippi River and demanded the surrender of the City of New Orleans the next day. The city surrendered on April 28. On May 1, Maj. Gen. Benjamin Franklin Butler’s army began landing at New Orleans and occupying the city. New Orleans, considered an international city and the largest city in the Confederacy, had fallen. The Union occupation of New Orleans was an event that had major international significance.

Result(s): Union victory


Baton Rouge

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: Magnolia Cemetery

Location: East Baton Rouge Parish

Campaign: Operations against Baton Rouge (1862)

Date(s): August 5, 1862

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Thomas Williams [US]; Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge [CS]

Forces Engaged: 2nd Brigade, Department of the Gulf [US]; Breckinridge’s Corps [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 849 total (US 371; CS 478)

Description: In an attempt to regain control of the state, Confederates wished to recapture the capital at Baton Rouge. Maj. Gen. John C. Breckinridge planned a combined land/water expedition with his corps and CSS Ram Arkansas. Advancing west from Camp Moore, the Confederate land forces, coming from the east, were only ten miles away on August 4. They reached the outskirts of the capital early in the morning, formed for an attack in two divisions, and began to drive back each Union unit they encountered. Then, Union gunboats in the river began shelling the Confederates. The Arkansas could have neutralized the Union gunboats, but her engines failed and she did not participate in the battle. Federal land forces, in the meantime, fell back to a more defensible line, and the Union commander, Brig. Gen. Thomas Williams, was killed soon after. The new commander, Col. Thomas W. Cahill, ordered a retreat to a prepared defensive line nearer the river and within the gunboats protection. Rebels assailed the new line, but finally the Federals forced them to retire. The next day the Arkansas’s engines failed again as she closed on the Union gunboats; she was blown up and scuttled by her crew. The Confederates failed to recapture the state capital.

Result(s): Union victory


Donaldsonville

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: None

Location: Ascension Parish

Campaign: Operations against Baton Rouge (1862)

Date(s): August 9, 1862

Principal Commanders: Rear Adm. David G. Farragut [US]; Capt. Phillippe Landry [CS]

Forces Engaged: Three Navy ships [US]; a few partisans [CS]

Estimated Casualties: None known

Description: A number of incidents of artillery firing on Union steamers passing up and down the Mississippi River at Donaldsonville influenced the U.S. Navy to undertake a retaliatory attack. Rear Adm. David G. Farragut sent the town notice of his intentions and suggested that the citizens send the women and children away. He then anchored in front of the town and fired upon it with guns and mortars. Farragut also sent a detachment ashore that set fire to the hotels, wharf buildings, and the dwelling houses and other buildings of Capt. Phillippe Landry. Landry, thought to be the captain of the partisan unit, purportedly fired on the landing party during the raid. Some citizens protested the raid, but, generally, firing on Union ships ceased thereafter.

Result(s): Union victory (inconclusive)


Georgia Landing

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: Labadieville, Texana

Location: Lafourche Parish

Campaign: Operations in LaFourche District (1862)

Date(s): October 27, 1862

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Godfrey Weitzel [US]; Brig. Gen. Alfred Mouton [CS]

Forces Engaged: Reserve brigade, Department of the Gulf [US]; 18th Louisiana Infantry Regiment, Crescent Regiment, Ralston’s Battery, Detachment of Cavalry, 33rd Louisiana Infantry Regiment, Terre Bonne Regiment Louisiana Militia, Semmes’s Battery and 2nd Louisiana Cavalry Regiment (approx. 1,392 men) [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 315 total (US 86; CS 229)

Description: Maj. Gen. Benjamin F. Butler, commanding Union forces in the Department of the Gulf, launched an expedition into the Bayou Lafourche region to eliminate the Rebel threat from that area, to make sure that sugar and cotton products from there would come into Union hands and, in the future, to use it as a base for other military operations. He organized a brigade of about 4,000 men under the command of his protege Brig. Gen. Godfrey Weitzel to accomplish the missions. On October 25, Weitzel and his men arrived at Donaldsonville, where the Lafourche meets the Mississippi, and began an advance up the east bank of the bayou. The Confederates under the command of Brig. Gen. Alfred Mouton attempted to concentrate to meet the threat. By the 27th, the Confederates had occupied a position on the bayou above Labadieville. A little more than half the force was on the east bank while the rest of the men were on the west bank near Georgia Landing, generally without means of concentrating on one side or the other. As the Federal troops continued down the east bank, they encountered the Rebels at about 11:00 am and began skirmishing. The Confederates fell back quickly. Weitzel then began crossing his men to the west bank to attack the Rebel troops there. For some time, these Confederate troops fought resolutely and brought the Union assault to a standstill. The Rebels, however, ran out of artillery ammunition and had to withdraw to Labadieville, opening up this portion of the Lafourche to the Union.

Result(s): Union victory


Fort Bisland

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: Bethel Place

Location: St. Mary Parish

Campaign: Operations in West Louisiana (1863)

Date(s): April 12-13, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks [US]; Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor [CS]

Forces Engaged: Banks’s Department of the Gulf, XIX Army Corps [US]; District of Western Louisiana [CS]

Estimated Casualties: Total 684 (US 234; CS 450)

Description: In April 1863, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks launched an expedition up Bayou Teche in western Louisiana aimed at Alexandria. On April 9, two divisions crossed Berwick Bay from Brashear City to the west side at Berwick. On the 12th, a third division went up the Atchafalaya River to land in the rear of Franklin intending to intercept a Rebel retreat from Fort Bisland or turn the enemy’s position. Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor sent Col. Tom Green’s regiment to the front to ascertain the enemy’s strength and retard his advance. On the 11th, the Yankees began their advance in earnest. Late on the 12th, Union troops arrived outside the defenses in battle line. An artillery barrage ensued from both sides until dark when the Yankees, many of whom were hit by Rebel cannon fire, fell back and camped for the night. About 9:00 am on the 13th, the Union forces again advanced on Fort Bisland. Combat did not begin until after 11:00 am and continued until dusk. In addition to Rebel forces in the earthworks, the gunboat Diana, now in Confederate hands, shelled the Yankees. U.S. gunboats joined the fray in late afternoon. The fighting ceased after this. Later that night, Taylor learned that the Yankee division that went up the Atchafalaya and landed in his rear was now in a position to cut off a Confederate retreat. Taylor began evacuating supplies, men, and weapons, leaving a small force to retard any enemy movement. The next morning, the Yankees found the fort abandoned. Fort Bisland was the only fortification that could have impeded this Union offensive, and it had fallen.

Result(s): Union victory


Irish Bend

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: Nerson’s Woods, Franklin

Location: St. Mary Parish

Campaign: Operations in West Louisiana (1863)

Date(s): April 14, 1863

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Cuvier Grover [US]; Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor [CS]

Forces Engaged: 4th Division, XIX Army Corps [US]; 28th Louisiana Infantry, 2nd Louisiana Cavalry, 12th Louisiana Infantry Battalion, 4th Texas Cavalry, and Cornay’s Louisiana Battery [CS]

Estimated Casualties: Total unknown (US 353; CS unknown)

Description: While the other two Union XIX Army Corps divisions comprising the expedition into West Louisiana moved across Berwick Bay towards Fort Bisland, Brig. Gen. Cuvier Grover’s division went up the Atchafalaya River into Grand Lake, intending to intercept a Confederate retreat from Fort Bisland or turn the enemy’s position. On the morning of April 13, the division landed in the vicinity of Franklin and scattered Rebel troops attempting to stop them from disembarking. That night, Grover ordered the division to cross Bayou Teche and prepare for an attack towards Franklin at dawn. In the meantime, Confederate Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor had sent some men to meet Grover’s threat. On the morning of the 14th, Taylor and his men were at Nerson’s Woods, around a mile and a half above Franklin. As Grover’s lead brigade marched out a few miles, it encountered Rebels on its right and began skirmishing with them. The fighting became intense; the Rebels attacked, forcing the Yankees to fall back. The gunboat Diana arrived and anchored the Confederate right flank. The Confederates were outnumbered, however, and, as Grover began making dispositions for an attack, they retreated leaving the field to the Union. This victory, along with the one at Fort Bisland, two days earlier, assured the success of the expedition into West Louisiana.

Result(s): Union victory


Vermillion Bayou

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: None

Location: Lafayette Parish

Campaign: Operations in West Louisiana (1863)

Date(s): April 17, 1863

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Cuvier Grover [US]; Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor [CS]

Forces Engaged: 4th Division, XIX Army Corps, Army of the Gulf [US]; District of Western Louisiana [CS]

Estimated Casualties: Unknown

Description: While Rear Adm. David G. Farragut remained above Port Hudson with USS Hartford and Albatross, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks decided to go after Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor’s Confederate forces in western Louisiana. He moved by water to Donaldsonville and began a march to Thibodeaux up Bayou Lafourche. Banks beat Taylor at Fort Bisland and Irish Bend, forcing the Rebel army to retreat up the bayou. Taylor reached Vermillionville, crossed Vermillion Bayou, destroyed the bridge, and rested. Banks, in pursuit, sent two columns, on different roads, toward Vermillion Bayou on the morning of April 17. One column reached the bayou while the bridge was burning, advanced, and began skirmishing. Confederate artillery, strategically placed, forced the Yankees back. Then Federal artillery opened a duel with its Confederate counterpart. After dark, the Rebels retreated to Opelousas. The Confederates had slowed the Union advance.

Result(s): Union victory


Plains Store

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: Springfield Road

Location: East Baton Rouge Parish

Campaign: Siege of Port Hudson (1863)

Date(s): May 21, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Christopher C. Augur [US]; Col. Frank P. Powers and Col. William R. Miles [CS]

Forces Engaged: 1st Division, XIX Army Corps and Cavalry Brigade [US]; small combined infantry, artillery, and cavalry force [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 250 total (US 150; CS 100)

Description: Early in the morning of May 21, 1863, Maj. Gen. Christopher C. Augur’s Union division advanced from Baton Rouge toward the intersection of Plains Store and Bayou Sara roads on the way to secure a landing, on the river, for Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks. Col. Benjamin H. Grierson’s cavalry, in the lead, encountered Confederate forces under the command of Col. Frank P. Powers and skirmishing ensued. As the morning progressed the Union infantry approached the crossroads and came under fire, bringing on a general engagement. At noon, Col. W.R. Miles set out for Plains Store with Confederate reinforcements. By the time that Miles arrived in the area late in the day, the fighting had ceased, the Rebel forces had retreated, and the Federals were preparing camps for the night. Miles attacked the Union forces and, at first, drove them, but they regrouped and counterattacked. Miles could not stand against the overwhelming Union force and retired into the Port Hudson perimeter. The battle ended, and the last Confederate escape route from Port Hudson was closed.

Result(s): Union victory


Port Hudson

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: None

Location: East Baton Rouge Parish and East Feliciana Parish

Campaign: Siege of Port Hudson (1863)

Date(s): May 21-July 9, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks [US]; Maj. Gen. Franklin Gardner [CS]

Forces Engaged: XIX Army Corps, Army of the Gulf [US]; Confederate forces, 3rd District, Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, Port Hudson [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 12,208 total (US 5,000; CS 7,208)

Description: In cooperation with Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s offensive against Vicksburg, Union Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks’s army moved against the Confederate stronghold at Port Hudson on the Mississippi River. On May 27, after their frontal assaults were repulsed, the Federals settled into a siege which lasted for 48 days. Banks renewed his assaults on June 14 but the defenders successfully repelled them. On July 9, 1863, after hearing of the fall of Vicksburg, the Confederate garrison of Port Hudson surrendered, opening the Mississippi River to Union navigation from its source to New Orleans.

Result(s): Union victory


Milliken’s Bend

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: None

Location: Madison Parish

Campaign: Grant’s Operations against Vicksburg (1863)

Date(s): June 7, 1863

Principal Commanders: Col. Hermann Lieb [US]; Brig. Gen. Henry E. McCulloch [CS]

Forces Engaged: African Brigade and the 23rd Iowa Volunteer Infantry [US]; McCulloch’s Brigade [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 837 total (US 652; CS 185)

Description: On June 6, Col. Hermann Lieb with the African Brigade and two companies of the 10th Illinois Cavalry made a reconnaissance toward Richmond, Louisiana. About three miles from Richmond, Lieb encountered enemy troops at the Tallulah railroad depot and drove them back but then retired, fearing that many more Rebels might be near. While retiring, a squad of Union cavalry appeared, fleeing from a force of Rebels. Lieb got his men into battle line and helped disperse the pursuing enemy. He then retired to Milliken’s Bend and informed his superior by courier of his actions. The 23rd Iowa Infantry and two gunboats came to his assistance. Around 3:00 am on June 7, Rebels appeared in force and drove in the pickets. They continued their movement towards the Union left flank. The Federal forces fired some volleys that caused the Rebel line to pause momentarily, but the Texans soon pushed on to the levee where they received orders to charge. In spite of receiving more volleys, the Rebels came on, and hand-to-hand combat ensued. In this intense fighting, the Confederates succeeded in flanking the Union force and caused tremendous casualties with enfilade fire. The Union force fell bank to the river’s bank. About that time Union gunboats Choctaw and Lexington appeared and fired upon the Rebels. The Confederates continued firing and began extending their right to envelop the Federals but failed in their objective. Fighting continued until noon when the Confederates withdrew. The Union pursued, firing many volleys, and the gunboats pounded the Confederates as they retreated to Walnut Bayou.

Result(s): Union victory


LaFourche Crossing

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: Lafourche Crossing

Location: Lafourche Parish

Campaign: Taylor’s Operations in West Louisiana (1863)

Date(s): June 20-21, 1863

Principal Commanders: Lt. Col. Albert Stickney [US]; Col. James P. Major [CS]

Forces Engaged: 838 men from eight regiments [US]; 2nd Cavalry Brigade [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 267 total (US 48; CS 219)

Description: Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor sent an expedition under Col. James P. Major to break Union supply lines, disrupt Union activities and force an enemy withdrawal from Brashear (Morgan) City and Port Hudson. Major set out from Washington, Louisiana, on Bayou Teche, heading south and east. While marching, his men conducted raids on Union forces, boats, and plantations and in the process captured animals and supplies and liberated slaves. Brig. Gen. William H. Emory, commanding the defenses of New Orleans, assigned Lt. Col. Albert Stickney to command in Brashear City and to stem the Rebel raid if possible. Emory informed Stickney of Major’s descent on LaFourche Crossing and ordered him to send troops. Feeling that no threat to Brashear City existed, Stickney, himself, led troops off to LaFourche Crossing, arriving on the morning of the 20th. That afternoon, Stickney’s scouts reported that the enemy was advancing rapidly. The Rebel forces began driving in Stickney’s pickets around 5:00 pm. Confederate cavalry then advanced but was driven back. After the Union troops fired a few rounds, the Confederates withdrew in the direction of Thibodeaux. In the late afternoon of the 21st, Confederate soldiers engaged the Union pickets, and fighting continued for more than an hour before the Rebels retired. About 6:30 pm, the Confederates reappeared in force, started an artillery duel, and charged the Union lines at 7:00 pm. An hour later, the Confederates disengaged and retired toward Thibodeaux. The Union held the field. Despite the defeat, Major’s raiders continued on to Brashear City.

Result(s): Union victory


Donaldsonville

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: None

Location: Ascension Parish

Campaign: Taylor’s Operations in West Louisiana (1863)

Date(s): June 28, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Joseph D. Bullen [US]; Brig. Gen. Tom Green [CS]

Forces Engaged: Fort Butler Garrison: two companies of the 28th Maine Volunteer Infantry and some convalescents from various regiments [US]; Tom Green’s Texas Brigade and Colonel James Patrick Major’s Texas Brigade [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 324 total (US 23; CS 301)

Description: On June 28, 1863, Confederate Brig. Gen. Jean Alfred Mouton ordered Brig. Gen. Tom Green’s and Col. James P. Major’s brigades to take Donaldsonville. The Union had built Fort Butler, which the Rebels had to take before occupying the town. On the night of June 27, Green, within a mile and a half of the fort, began moving troops ahead to attack. The attack started soon after midnight, and the Confederates quickly surrounded the fort and began passing through the various obstructions. Unfortunately, those troops attacking along the levee came to a ditch, unknown to them, too wide to cross, that saved the day for the Union garrison. A Union gunboat, Princess Royal, came to the garrison’s aid also and began shelling the attackers. Futile Confederate assaults continued for some time but they eventually ceased their operations and retired. This point on the Mississippi remained in Union hands and many other Mississippi River towns were occupied by the Yankees: the Confederates could harass but not eliminate these Union enclaves.

Result(s): Union victory


Goodrich’s Landing

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: The Mounds, Lake Providence

Location: East Carroll Parish

Campaign: Grant’s Operations against Vicksburg (1863)

Date(s): June 29-30, 1863

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Alfred W. Ellet [US]; Col. William H. Parsons [CS]

Forces Engaged: Mississippi Marine Brigade, Brigade of 1st Arkansas Volunteers (African Descent) and 10th Louisiana (African Descent) [US]; 12th and 19th Texas cavalry Regiments, 15th Louisiana Cavalry Battalion, Cameron’s Louisiana Battery, and Ralston’s Mississippi Battery [CS]

Estimated Casualties: Total unknown (US 120; CS unknown)

Description: After Union forces began occupying the Louisiana river parishes, thousands of escaped slaves flocked to them. The Federals, therefore, leased some plantations and put the freedmen to work growing cotton or other crops; the proceeds from the sale of the crops helped defray expenses for food, clothing, etc. African-American troops were assigned to protect these plantations, releasing other troops to fight. Confederates, determined to recapture some of these freedmen and destroy the crops, undertook an expedition from Gaines’s Landing, Arkansas, to Lake Providence. The Federals had constructed a fort on an Indian mound to protect some of these leased plantations. The Rebels prepared to attack the fort on the 29th but decided to demand unconditional surrender first, which the Union forces accepted. Later in the day, Confederate Col. W.H. Parsons fought companies of the 1st Kansas Mounted Infantry. The Rebels then began burning and destroying the surrounding plantations, especially those that the Yankees leased. By the next morning, U.S. Naval boats had landed the Mississippi Marine Brigade, under the command of Brig. Gen. Alfred W. Ellet, at Goodrich’s Landing. At dawn, he set out with Col. William F. Wood’s African-American units to find the Rebels. Ellet’s cavalry found the Confederates first and began skirmishing. The fight became more intense as Ellet’s other forces approached. Parsons eventually disengaged and fell back. Although the Confederates disrupted these operations, destroyed much property, and captured many supplies and weapons, the raid was a minor setback for the Union. The Confederates could cause momentary disturbances, but they were unable to effect any lasting changes.

Result(s): Inconclusive


Kock’s Plantation

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: Cox’s Plantation

Location: Ascension Parish

Campaign: Taylor’s Operations in West Louisiana (1863)

Date(s): November 28, 1862

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Godfrey Weitzel and Brig. Gen. Cuvier Grover [US]; Brig. Gen. Tom Green [CS]

Forces Engaged: Godfrey Weitzel’s and Cuvier Grover’s Divisions, XIX Army Corps [US]; two understrength Confederate brigades [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 463 total (US 430; CS 33)

Description: Following the surrender of Port Hudson, two Union divisions were shifted to Donaldsonville by transports, to move inland and pacify the interior. They marched up Bayou Lafourche, a division on each bank. Confederate Brig. Gen. Tom Green posted a brigade on the east side of the bayou and placed his second brigade on the other side. As the Union forces advanced, skirmishing occurred on July 11 and 12. On the morning of the 13th, a foraging detachment set out along both banks of the bayou. Upon reaching Kock’s Plantation (Saint Emma Plantation) they met Rebel skirmishers that forced them back. Then, the Confederates flung their might against the Union troops which kept retiring although they tried to make stands at various points. The Union troops eventually fell back to the protection of the guns in Fort Butler at Donaldsonville, about six miles from Kock’s Plantation. A much smaller Rebel force had routed the Yankees. The expedition failed, leaving the Confederates in control of the interior.

Result(s): Confederate victory


Stirling’s Plantation

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: Fordoche Bridge

Location: Pointe CoupeƩ Parish

Campaign: Taylor’s Operations in West Louisiana (1863)

Date(s): September 29, 1863

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Napoleon J.T. Dana [US]; Brig. Gen. Tom Green [CS]

Forces Engaged: 2nd Division, XIII Army Corps [US]; forces on the Atchafalaya River [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 575 total (US 454; CS unknown)

Description: Following the Union defeat at Sabine Pass earlier in the month, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks intended to occupy important locations in Texas. He decided to send troops up the Bayou Teche, disembark them on the plains and march overland to Texas. Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant sent him a division, commanded by Maj. Gen. Napoleon J.T. Dana to garrison Morganza and prevent Rebel troops from operating on the Atchafalaya River. A 1,000-man detachment, under the command of Lt. Col. J.B. Leake, was at Stirling’s Plantation to guard the road to the Atchafalaya River and deter any enemy troops from passing by. Brig. Gen. Alfred Mouton, commander of the Sub-District of Southwestern Louisiana, decided that he had a favorable opportunity to defeat the Union forces around Fordoche Bridge. On September 19, he instructed Brig. Gen. Tom Green to prepare for such an attack. Mouton provided Green with reinforcements and gave the order to attack on the 25th. Green’s force began crossing the Atchafalaya River on the 28th, and all were over after midnight of the 29th. At dawn on the 29th, Green’s men marched out. Confederate cavalry began skirmishing with Union pickets at Fordoche Bridge before noon and continued for about a half hour. Green’s other troops then hit the Union force, drove them and captured many, although most of the Federal cavalry found an escape route. Although Dana sent reinforcements, mud and rain slowed their progress and allowed Green to get away. Green had defeated this Union force handily, but it did not deter Banks from his intended movement.

Result(s): Confederate victory


Fort DeRussy

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: None

Location: Avoyelles Parish

Campaign: Red River Campaign (1864)

Date(s): March 14, 1864

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. A.J. Smith and Brig. Gen. Joseph Mower [US]; Lt. Col. William Byrd [CS]

Forces Engaged: 3rd Division, XVI Army Corps [US]; Fort DeRussy Garrison (approx. 350 men) [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 317 total (US 48; CS 269)

Description: The Union launched a multi-purpose expedition into Rebel Gen. E. Kirby Smith’s Trans-Mississippi Department, headquartered in Shreveport, Louisiana, in early 1864. Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks and Rear Adm. David D. Porter jointly commanded the combined force. Porter’s fleet and Brig. Gen. A.J. Smith’s XVI and XVII Army Corps detachments of the Army of the Tennessee set out on March 12, 1864, up the Red River, the most direct route to Shreveport. Banks with the XIII and XIX Army Corps advanced by way of Berwick Bay and Bayou Teche. After removing various obstructions that the Rebels had placed in the river, the major impediment to the Union expedition was the formidable Fort DeRussy, an earthen fortification with a partly iron-plated battery designed to resist the fire of Union ironclads that might come up river. Union Brig. Gen. A.J. Smith’s command had embarked on transports at Vicksburg and then disembarked at Simsport, on the 12th, about thirty miles from Fort DeRussy. Smith sent out some troops on the morning of the 13th to determine if any enemy was in their path. This force dispersed and chased an enemy brigade, after which, Smith set his men in motion up the Fort DeRussy road. They did not proceed far before night. Early the next morning, the 14th, they continued the march, discovering that a Confederate division threatened their advance. Always mindful of this threat, Smith had to place part of his command in a position to intercept these Rebel forces if they attacked. Upon arriving at the fort, the enemy garrison of 350 men opened fire. Smith decided to use Mower’s division, XVI Army Corps, to take the fort and set about positioning it for the attack. Around 6:30 pm, Smith ordered a charge on the fort and about twenty minutes later, Mower’s men scaled the parapet, causing the enemy to surrender. Fort DeRussy, which some had said was impregnable, had fallen and the Red River to Alexandria was open.

Result(s): Union victory


Mansfield

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: Sabine Cross-Roads, Pleasant Grove

Location: DeSoto Parish

Campaign: Red River Campaign (1864)

Date(s): April 8, 1864

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks [US]; Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor [CS]

Forces Engaged: Banks’s Red River Expeditionary Force [US]; District of West Louisiana (two divisions) [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 4,400 total (US 2,900; CS 1,500)

Description: By this time, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Bank’s Red River Expedition had advanced about 150 miles up Red River. Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor, without any instructions from his commander, Gen. E. Kirby Smith, decided that it was time to try and stem this Union drive. He established a defensive position just below Mansfield, near Sabine Cross-Roads, an important communications center. On April 8, Banks’s men approached, driving Confederate cavalry before them. For the rest of the morning, the Federals probed the Rebel lines. In late afternoon, Taylor, though outnumbered, decided to attack. His men made a determined assault on both flanks, rolling up one and then another of Banks’s divisions. Finally, about three miles from the original contact, a third Union division met Taylor’s attack at 6:00 pm and halted it after more than an hour’s fighting. That night, Taylor unsuccessfully attempted to turn Banks’s right flank. Banks withdrew but met Taylor again on the 9th at Pleasant Hill. Mansfield was the decisive battle of the Red River Campaign, influencing Banks to retreat back toward Alexandria.

Result(s): Confederate victory


Pleasant Hill

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: None

Location: DeSoto Parish and Sabine Parish

Campaign: Red River Campaign (1864)

Date(s): April 9, 1864

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks [US]; Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor [CS]

Forces Engaged: Red River Expeditionary Force (Banks’s Department of the Gulf) [US]; District of West Louisiana [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 3,100 total (US 1,100; CS 2,000)

Description: By April 1864, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks’s Red River Expedition had advanced about 150 miles up Red River. Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor, commander of the Confederate forces in the area, decided, without any instructions from his commander Gen. E. Kirby Smith, that it was time to try and stem this Union drive. Taylor gained a victory at Mansfield on April 8. Banks withdrew from that battlefield to Pleasant Hill, but he knew that fighting would resume the next day. Early on the 9th, Taylor’s reinforced forces marched toward Pleasant Hill in the hopes of finishing the destruction of the Union force. Although outnumbered, Taylor felt that the Union army would be timid after Mansfield and that an audacious, well-coordinated attack would be successful. The Confederates closed up, rested for a few hours, and then attacked at 5:00 pm. Taylor planned to send a force to assail the Union front while he rolled up the left flank and moved his cavalry around the right flank to cut the escape route. The attack on the Union left flank, under the command of Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Churchill, succeeded in sending those enemy troops fleeing for safety. Churchill ordered his men ahead, intending to attack the Union center from the rear. Union troops, however, discerned the danger and hit Churchill’s right flank, forcing a retreat. Pleasant Hill was the last major battle, in terms of numbers of men involved, of the Louisiana phase of the Red River Campaign. Although Banks won this battle, he retreated, wishing to get his army out of west Louisiana before any greater calamity occurred. The battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill jointly (although the former was much more decisive) influenced Banks to forget his objective of capturing Shreveport.

Result(s): Union victory


Blair’s Landing

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: Pleasant Hill Landing

Location: Red River Parish

Campaign: Red River Campaign (1864)

Date(s): April 12-13, 1864

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Thomas Kilby Smith and Rear Adm. David D. Porter [US]; Brig. Gen. Tom Green [CS]

Forces Engaged: Provisional division, XVII Army Corps, Army transports, and U.S. Navy Mississippi Squadron [US]; Green’s Cavalry Division [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 207 total (US 7; CS 200)

Description: After the battle of Pleasant Hill on April 9, Brig. Gen. Tom Green led his men to Pleasant Hill Landing on the Red River, where, about 4:00 pm on April 12, they discovered grounded and damaged Union transports and gunboats, the XVI and XVII army corps river transportation, and U.S. Navy gunboats, with supplies and armament aboard. Union Brig. Gen. Thomas Kilby Smith’s Provisional Division, XVII Corps, troops, and the Navy gunboats furnished protection for the army transports. Green and his men charged the boats. When Green attacked, Smith’s men used great ingenuity in defending the boats and dispersing the enemy. Hiding behind bales of cotton, sacks of oats, and other ersatz obstructions, the men on the vessels, along with the Navy gunboats, repelled the attack, killed Green, and savaged the Confederate ranks. The Confederates withdrew and most of the Union transports continued downriver. On the 13th, at Campti, other boats ran aground and came under enemy fire from Brig. Gen. St. John R. Liddell’s Sub-District of North Louisiana troops, which harassed the convoy throughout the 12th and 13th. The convoy rendezvoused with Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks’s army at Grand Ecore, providing the army with badly needed supplies.

Result(s): Union victory


Monett’s Ferry

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: Cane River Crossing

Location: Natchitoches Parish

Campaign: Red River Campaign (1864)

Date(s): April 23, 1864

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks [US]; Brig. Gen. Hamilton P. Bee [CS]

Forces Engaged: Red River Expeditionary Force (Banks’s Department of the Gulf) [US]; Bee’s Cavalry Division [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 600 total (US 200; CS 400)

Description: Near the end of the Red River Expedition, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks’s army evacuated Grand Ecore and retreated to Alexandria, pursued by Confederate forces. Banks’s advance party, commanded by Brig. Gen. William H. Emory, encountered Brig. Gen. Hamilton P. Bee’s cavalry division near Monett’s Ferry (Cane River Crossing) on the morning of April 23. Bee had been ordered to dispute Emory’s crossing, and he placed his men so that natural features covered both his flanks. Reluctant to assault the Rebels in their strong position, Emory demonstrated in front of the Confederate lines, while two brigades went in search of another crossing. One brigade found a ford, crossed, and attacked the Rebels in their flank. Bee had to retreat. Banks’s men laid pontoon bridges and, by the next day, had all crossed the river. The Confederates at Monett’s Ferry missed an opportunity to destroy or capture Banks’s army.

Result(s): Union victory


Mansura

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: Smith’s Place, Marksville

Location: Avoyelles Parish

Campaign: Red River Campaign (1864)

Date(s): May 16, 1864

Principal Commanders: Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks [US]; Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor [CS]

Forces Engaged: Banks’s Red River Expeditionary Force [US]; District of West Louisiana [CS]

Estimated Casualties: Unknown

Description: As Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks’s Red River Expeditionary Force retreated down Red River, Confederate forces under Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor attempted to slow the Union troops movements and, if possible, deplete their numbers or, better yet, destroy them. The Union forces passed Fort DeRussy, reached Marksville, and then continued east. At Mansura, Taylor massed his forces in an open prairie that controlled access to the three roads traversing the area, where he hoped his artillery could cause many casualties. Early on the morning of May 16, the Union forces approached, and skirmishing quickly ensued. After a four-hour fight (principally an artillery duel), a large Union force massed for a flank attack, inducing the Rebels to fall back. The Union troops marched to Simmsport. Taylor’s force could harass the enemy’s retrograde but was unable to halt it.

Result(s): Union victory


Yellow Bayou

Civil War battles in Louisiana

Other Names: Norwood’s Plantation

Location: Avoyelles Parish

Campaign: Red River Campaign (1864)

Date(s): May 18, 1864

Principal Commanders: Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Mower [US]; Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor [CS]

Forces Engaged: 1st and 3rd Divisions, XVI Army Corps [US]; District of Western Louisiana [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 860 total (US 360; CS 500)

Description: Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks during his retreat in the Red River Campaign, following the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, reached the Atchafalaya River on May 17. Once on the other side of the river he would be shielded from the continuous Confederate harassment. But, he had to wait to cross the river until the army engineers constructed a bridge. On the 18th, Banks learned that Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor’s force was near Yellow Bayou so he ordered Brig. Gen. A.J. Smith to stop them. Since Smith could not comply himself, he ordered Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Mower to meet Taylor. The Yankees attacked and drove the Rebels to their main line. The Confederates counterattacked, forcing the Federals to give ground. The Union force finally repulsed the Confederates. This see-saw action continued for several hours until the ground cover caught fire forcing both sides to retire. Yellow Bayou was the last battle of Banks’s ill-fated Red River Expedition, and it insured that the Federals would escape as an army to fight again.

Result(s): Union strategic victory

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