Report of Stonewall Jackson on the Battle of Cedar Mountain

 

 

On August 9, 1862, Stonewall Jackson, spearheading General Lee’s offensive against General John Pope’s hastily assembled Army of Virginia.  At Cedar Mountain in Culpepper County Virginia he attack his old Valley adversary General Nathaniel Banks, known affectionately by Confederates as Commissary Banks due to the fact that forces under his command usually were whipped and Confederates then feasted on the captured supplies of his defeated forces.  Banks commanded 8,000 men and Jackson had 16,000.  Banks and his men, surprisingly, put up a good fight and Jackson’s victory was hard fought.  Here is Jackson’s report which he submitted on April 4, 1863, paperwork tacking a back seat to all the fighting which occurred between Cedar Mountain and April 4, 1863: Continue Reading

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:

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For Bales

Something for the weekend.  For Bales.  A Confederate song mocking the defeat of the Union forces under Major General Nathaniel Banks, one of the more inept political generals, in 1864.  The Red River campaign 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, with the Union forces being beaten decisively at the battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill.  Major General Richard Taylor, the only son of President Zachary Taylor, who commanded the Confederate forces in both engagements, was hailed as a hero of the Confederacy and promoted to Lieutenant General.

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Here is a video of an extensive presentation  by Dale Phillips on the Red River campaign:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FPb5LR1goio Continue Reading