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Title:The Mississippi Squadron in the Red River Campaign, March-May 1864
Author(s):Getz, Lowell L.
Subject(s):Red River Campaign
Civil War
Joseph Bailey
Red River Dam
Abstract:In the spring of 1864, the Union conducted an ill-planned/executed campaign along the Red River in Louisiana, the objective of which was capture of the state capital, Shreveport. If successful, the Union would have destroyed the Confederate army in the region and gained control of the cotton producing states of Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas. Three army forces were involved. One group of 20,000 army troops was to move from Franklin, Louisiana, northwest and meet up with 10,000 more, coming up the Red River, at Alexandria. The army then would proceed on Shreveport. There it would be joined in the attack on the city by 7,000 troops coming down from Arkansas. Gunboats from the Mississippi Squadron were to go up the Red River in support of the campaign. The Union army and gunboats made it to within about 45 miles of Shreveport. The Union army was defeated near Mansfield by an out-maned Confederate army and withdrew back to the Mississippi River. The gunboats had to turn and steam back down river. Unfortunately, the Red River remained unusually low that spring, almost trapping the gunboats above a series of water falls at Alexandria. An innovative army engineer designed and constructed a dam that allowed them to escape back to the Mississippi River. This account details the actions of the Union gunboats in support of the army.
Issue Date:2021-05-10
Rights Information:Text Copyright 2020 by Lowell L. Getz. All Rights Reserved
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-05-11

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