Category Archives: Arkansas

April 3, 1864: Sherman to Porter — time to go after Forrest

Sherman has heard from Admiral Porter about the success (so far) of the Red River campaign, and he emphasizes that he wants his troops back. What with Forrest raiding Paducah, Sherman would like to move some forces up to the … Continue reading

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March 24, 1864: Smith takes Fort De Russey

The New York Times reports on a success in the Red River campaign. CINCINNATI, Thursday, March 24. A dispatch from Cairo says: “We have good news from the Red River expedition, which comes from undoubted authority. Gen. A.J. SMITH landed … Continue reading

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March 18, 1864: Grant to Banks

Grant clarifies the plan for the Red River expedition. It’s important to take Shreveport — Grant says in order to reduce the number of troops required to hold the Mississippi — but it’s even more important to get Sherman’s detached … Continue reading

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March 15, 1864: Porter takes Fort DeRussy

Admiral Porter has the first success of the Red River campaign, taking the lower river stronghold of Fort DeRussy, near modern Marksville, LA. Official Records: MISSISSIPPI SQUADRON, FLAG-SHIP BLACK HAWK, Off Fort De Russy, March 15, 1864. Major General W. … Continue reading

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March 14, 1864: Arkansas constitution ratified

The new Constitution of Arkansas, abolishing slavery, was ratified on March 14, 1864; this is one reason why the Red River expedition, though militarily a sideshow, was politically important. The New York Times reports that Arkansas has been reconstructed. The … Continue reading

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March 13, 1864: Halleck passes the buck

As we’ve seen, Steele asked Halleck to overrule Sherman’s order to take all his troops to Shreveport. Halleck passes the decision on to Grant. Official Records: WASHINGTON, March 13, 1864-12.30 p.m. Lieutenant-General GRANT, Louisville, Ky.: General Steele telegraphs that Banks, … Continue reading

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March 12, 1864: Steele appeals to Halleck

Steele tries one more avenue to try to get out of sending all of his forces to Shreveport. This time, he goes over Sherman’s head to Halleck. Official Records: LITTLE ROCK, ARK., March 12, 1864-3 p.m. (Received 12.30 a.m., 13th.) … Continue reading

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March 10, 1864: Red River Campaign off to an inauspicious start

Nathaniel P. Banks **************************************88 First of all, Sherman has sent a substantial force to the Red River to help Banks and Steele. He wants them back in no more than 30 days, so he can put them to work in … Continue reading

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

March 4, 1864: Sherman’s instructions to Banks and Steele

Sherman prepares to have Banks, Steele, and his own troops meet at Shreveport — always a tough trick to bring off. He emphasizes to both that moving on time is essential. He also reminds both that the whole expedition needs … Continue reading

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March 3, 1964: Planning the Red River campaign

Fred Steele ************************ Banks and Steele are preparing a move to head up the Red River and clear the remaining rebels from Arkansas, a project with some urgency since the state is about to ratify a Union constitution and be … Continue reading

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