Category Archives: Nathaniel P. Banks

May13, 1864: Bailey’s dam successful, fleet escapes

After a couple of false starts and some reconstruction, the wing dam designed by Col. Bailey succeeded in raising water levels enough to let all the river fleet escape down the Red River. The near-disaster of the Red River campaign … Continue reading

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May 8, 1864: Bailey’s dam

s Back to the Red River Campaign for a bit now. As you may remember, we left Banks’ troops up the Red River with low water preventing the gunboats from getting away. A colonel Joseph Bailey, who had been a … Continue reading

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April 26, 1864: Grant cans Banks

In this exchange, Grant and Halleck discuss the best way to remove Banks from command given the poor state of communications. He’s not too happy with General Franklin as replacement, but anyone is better than Banks. WASHINGTON, April 26, 1864-2.15 … Continue reading

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April 24, 1864: Sherman asks Steele what’s going on

Sherman can’t tell what’s happening in Arkansas and Louisiana, but he wants Steele to take charge in the far west. CONFIDENTIAL.] HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISSISSIPPI, Nashville, Tenn., April 24, 1864. Major General STEELE, Commanding, Red River: GENERAL: My … Continue reading

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April 23, 1864: Sherman to Halleck

While Sherman seems to be holding out some hope to Grant that Banks and Steele might combine forces and accomplish something, his dispatch to Halleck just sounds disgusted. Official Records: NASHVILLE, TENN., April 23, 1864-12 midnight. (Received 2.45 a. m., … Continue reading

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April 21, 1864: More bad news from the Red River

Edwin Stanton ******************************************** The extent of the blunder on the Red River is starting to become apparent, as Stanton and Grant learn that Sherman’s troops aren’t coming back anytime soon, and the low water has trapped the gunboats. Official Records: … Continue reading

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April 20, 1864: Banks still retreating.

Stanton informs Grant more about Banks’ troubles, and Banks continues to retreat. Official Records: WAR DEPARTMENT, April 20, 1864 – 10.35 a. m. Lieutenant-General GRANT, Culpeper: Detailed telegraphic reports from Chicago, which you will see in this morning’s Chronicle, represent … Continue reading

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April 17, 1864: Grant wants Banks to hit Mobile

Grant was always a bit ambivalent about the Red River expedition, and the last thing he wants is for it to delay his planned attack on Mobile. He is developing a plan in which Banks will attack Mobile while Sherman … Continue reading

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April 16, 1864: Porter’s report to Sherman

Nathaniel Banks; not Porter’s favorite general. ************************************************************* Porter follows up on his brief dispatch with a lengthy report to Sherman. This unusually full and well-written document is notable in several ways. First, as before, Porter is disgusted with the management … Continue reading

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April 15, 1864: Futile struggling over the Red River

Apparently Sherman hasn’t yet received the dispatch from Porter saying that A.J.Smith’s troops will be late. He asks Grant to hurry Steele and hurries Steele himself, blaming Steele for the delay — in error, as it turns out. Meanwhile Banks … Continue reading

Posted in Arkansas, Frederick Steele, Nathaniel P. Banks, Red River Campaign, Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman | Leave a comment