Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Mower, USA
Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor, CSA
The Union deployed two divisions against Taylor's stronger division.
The Union lost around 350, the Confederates about 500.
Banks' retreat had started at Mansfield, continued through Pleasant Hill to Grand Ecore and Alexandria; on May 17, over a month after his first defeat he reached the Atchafalaya River. Once on the other side of the river he would be shielded from the continuous Confederate harassment. But he had to wait to cross the river until the army engineers constructed a bridge.
On the 18th, Banks learned that Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor's force was near Yellow Bayou so he ordered Brig. Gen. A.J. 'Whiskey' Smith to stop them. Since Smith could not comply himself, he ordered Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Mower to meet Taylor. The Yankees attacked and drove in the Rebel outposts. The Confederates counterattacked, forcing the Federals to give ground. The Union force finally repulsed the Confederates. This see-saw action continued for several hours until the ground cover caught fire forcing both sides to retire.
Yellow Bayou was the last battle of Banks' ill-fated Red River Expedition, and it insured that the Federals would escape as an army to fight again.