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

CWSAC Reference #: LA022

Preservation Priority: II.3 (Class C)

The Battle of Mansura was fought near Mansura, Louisiana, on May 16, 1864, during the Red River Campaign of the American Civil War. A Union force defeated elements of the Confederate States Army.

Background

As Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks’s Red River Expeditionary Force (from the Department of the Gulf) retreated down the 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.

Battle

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 Confederates to fall back. The Union troops marched to Simmsport. Taylor’s force harassed the enemy's retrograde, but was unable to halt it.W