Battle of Mansfield : Last Confederate Victory of the Civil War in Louisiana And Aftermath
The March 14, 1864 battle at Fort DeRussy marked the beginning of a series of seven battles, between the Union and the Confederacy in the state of Louisiana. Union forces defeated the Confederate forces and opened the Red River to Alexandria.
It would be 25 days later before the Union and Confederates would battle next. The Battle of Mansfield was fought on April 8, 1964 after Union forces led by Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, who had traveled 150 miles up the Red River, encountered Major General Richard Taylor commanding the Confederate forces.
Banks Retreats Toward Alexandria
Taylor attacked the Union forces despite being outnumbered and Banks finally retreated back toward Alexandria. The battle marked the last victory for the Confederates in Louisiana and preceded five consecutive defeats by the Union troops, including a defeat at the Battle of Pleasant Hill on April 9, 1864.
Union troops had suffered 2,900 casualties at the Battle of Mansfield while the Confederate forces incurred had 1,500 casualties. The Confederate forces would have 2,000 casualties, which almost half the casualties of the Union forces, who had 1,100 during the Battle of Pleasant Hill.
Confederates Lose 200 Troops At Blair’s Landing
Union forces overwhelmed the Confederates at Blair’s Landing, with only seven casualties compared to 200 by the Confederates. Brigadier General Tom Green leading the Confederate forces lost his life in the battle.
Two weeks later in another crushing defeat on April 23,1864 in another battle at Monett’s Ferry, the Union forces would have 200 casualties while the Confederates suffered 400 casualties.
Banks Leads Union Forces To Victory In Mansura
It would be May 16, 1864 before the enemies encountered each other again in Mansura, where General Banks would lead a flank attack on Confederate troops that gave the Union another victory. Battlefield casualties are unknown.
The battle at Yellow Bayou would commence on May 18, 1864. The battle was the last of the Red River Campaign and ended with 360 Union casualties and 500 Confederate casualties. It was regarded as a strategic victory for the Union as their forces lived to fight another day.
For complete descriptions of every battle fought in Louisiana during the Civil War:
The following website has many photos of places in Central Louisiana, which had to do with the Civil War. There is also a possible explanation of why the Kent House survived the burning of Alexandria by Federal troops.
Burning of Alexandria
Retreating Union troops burned 90 percent of Alexandria on May 13,1864. Kent House and a Catholic church were the only prominent landmarks still standing after the savage burning of Alexandria. Father J.P. Bellier brandished a sword when federal troops attempted to burn the Catholic church, with them deciding to not kill Father Bellier or harm the church.
The federal troops helped themselves to anything they wanted, while the fires were burning. Cows ran through the streets of Alexandria along with chickens who had been scorched by the fire.
By the time the fire had subsided, there was no record of any legal transaction filed before May 13, 1864 that existed after the fire. It took 36 years before Alexandria would reach a population of 5,000 again.
For many more details of the burning of Alexandria: