Category Archives: Arkansas

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 10, 1864: Partial success of Bailey’s dam

We continue with two very divergent accounts of Bailey’s dam; that of Banks, who gives all the credit to Bailey, and that of Pearsall, who claims that he was responsible for reconstructing the dam so that it was effective. From … Continue reading

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May 9, 1864: More on Bailey’s dam

Bailey’s dam having been constructed to raise the water level in the channel of the Red River, some of the gunboats were able to make it down. It then gave way partially, and it was necessary to build more dams … 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 25, 1864: Steele’s command grows

Nathan Kimball *********************************************** Steele, unlike Banks, was having some success in Arkansas. Gen. Kimball here informs him that Halleck has added Fort Smith to his command. He seems to be the de facto commander of the west side of the … Continue reading

Posted in Arkansas, Frederick Steele, Henry Halleck, Nathan Kimball, Red River Campaign | 2 Comments

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

Posted in Alabama, Arkansas, David Hunter, Mobile, Nathaniel P. Banks, Red River Campaign, Ulysses S. Grant | Leave a comment