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Mansfield (1864)
 
War:   American Civil War
 
Also known as:   Sabine Cross-Roads, Pleasant Grove
 
Date(s):   8 Apr 1864
 
Location:   DeSoto Parish, Louisiana, US
 
Outcome:   Confederare victory
 
Principal   Commanders:   Union: Nathaniel P. Banks
 
Description:   Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor, CSA Banks had a Corps available, the Confederates had two strong divisions. Union casualties were about double the Confederate’s 1,000 men. By this time, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Bank’s Red River Expedition had advanced about 150 miles up Red River. Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor, without any instructions from his commander, Kirby Smith, decided that it was time to try and stem this Union drive; he could not abide the Yankees taking another step forward. He was also on strategic ground: a few miles more advance and the Union troops would be at Sabine Cross-Roads, from which they could advance in most directions. Taylor had to stop them before they got to the crossroads, because he wasn’t strong enough to chase them if they spread out. He established a defensive position just below Mansfield, in front of Sabine Cross-Roads. On April 8, Banks’ men approached, driving Confederate cavalry before them. For the rest of the morning, the Federals probed the Rebel lines. There was little weight behind the probes because Banks had left the cavalry almost unsupported, and the infantry had trouble getting around the cavalry’s wagons on the narrow road. In late afternoon, Taylor, though outnumbered, decided to attack. His men made a determined assault on both flanks, rolling up one and then another of Banks’ divisions. Finally, about three miles from the original contact, a third Union division met Taylor’s attack at 6:00 pm and halted it after more than an hour's fighting. That night, Taylor unsuccessfully attempted to turn Banks’ right flank. Banks withdrew.


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