The Battle of Mansfield - April 8, 1864

bdtex

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It's admittedly been a long time since I visited Pleasant Hill (I faithfully attended the annual reenactment there for many years in the 1970's and 1980's), but I don't think there's been much change from these pictures. The real problem is the lack/inadequacy of on-site interpretation. The battle site was for many years owned by local Dr. Pombeauf (sp?), now deceased; he and his wife are buried in a private plot at the entrance to his somewhat hokey 1960's idea of a Southern plantation house that stands immediately north of the site of the tiny village of Pleasant Hill. (Which should NOT be confused with the current post-war town of that name some two miles south.) IF you have some adequate maps of the battle and a great deal of imagination (like the ability to eradicate the pine forest that has reclaimed what had been open farmland), you *might* be able to "figure out" what it is you're looking at. I had help in that regard from one of the area's premier relic hunters who used to attend the reenactments there.
Found this site too:

http://www.battleofpleasanthill.com/default.asp

Apparently they do a re-enactment there annually but this year's got cancelled on accounta weather. As you know,we had a few weeks of solid rain and flooding in our neck of the woods earlier in the year. Might shoot for that next year and just concentrate on Mansfield during my upcoming trip.
 

James N.

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Found this site too:

http://www.battleofpleasanthill.com/default.asp

Apparently they do a re-enactment there annually but this year's got cancelled on accounta weather. As you know,we had a few weeks of solid rain and flooding in our neck of the woods earlier in the year. Might shoot for that next year and just concentrate on Mansfield during my upcoming trip.

Not to be too discouraging, but annual events like this usually degenerate into local "farb fests", one reason I really don't miss going anymore. The reenactment was usually more of a distraction if you were really trying to learn about the battle and battlefield. The two sites are fairly close and easily combined, IF you know what you're looking for or at.
 

bdtex

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IF you know what you're looking for or at.
Don't know if I have enough time to study up on Pleasant Hill before my trip. I've already studied up some on Mansfield. Might just have to wing it at Pleasant Hill. :D
 

mt155

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Don't know if I have enough time to study up on Pleasant Hill before my trip. I've already studied up some on Mansfield. Might just have to wing it at Pleasant Hill. :D
You should take a short turn off from Logansport on your way to Mansfield. Just outside of there is an "International" boundary marker. Showing where Louisiana, USA and the Republic of Texas meet. There is a historical marker there. Also about another 15 minutes up the road you'll find the grave of Moses Rose, the one who left the Alamo a few days before the finale.
 

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mt155

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I have not been to Mansfield in a long time. The CWT just saved some land and a period home that was there during the battle. After you hit Pleasant Hill, you can cut over to I-49 and head south into Alexandria and see Ft. Randolph. It was built on the Red River to stop another attack that never came.
 

bdtex

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I have not been to Mansfield in a long time. The CWT just saved some land and a period home that was there during the battle. After you hit Pleasant Hill, you can cut over to I-49 and head south into Alexandria and see Ft. Randolph. It was built on the Red River to stop another attack that never came.
Thx for the info. I'm excited about the visit. Pretty sure one of my kin fought there with the 18th Texas Infantry.
 

bdtex

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Anyone have a book recommendation for this battle?
 

James N.

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I have not been to Mansfield in a long time. The CWT just saved some land and a period home that was there during the battle. After you hit Pleasant Hill, you can cut over to I-49 and head south into Alexandria and see Ft. Randolph. It was built on the Red River to stop another attack that never came.

My impression is that the land and house is NOT at the Louisiana State Park - Mansfield was a very spread-out affair and is considered to have been fought on three widely separated sites. The park and museum there preserves and interprets the "tip of the spear" where Taylor met the head of Banks' column - a single division supported by cavalry - defeated it, and forced it back into the woods and onto Albert Lee's wagon train which was subsequently captured and plundered. (Arguably the most important action of the entire battle.) The next one as you move south is as I remember about 3 miles down the road where the actual Sabine Crossroads (alternate name for the battle) intersected the road and where the next of Banks' divisions formed and temporarily halted the Confederate pursuit. There's a Louisiana roadside historical marker there, and nothing else as I remember. The third (and the one all the fuss is about where the "battlefield" is being threatened by strip mining) is even farther south about halfway to Pleasant Hill and marks a final Union line along a creek where darkness ended the pursuit. The house which served as a field hospital and the land immediately around it is at the final location. I've seen all 3 of these, but it was several years ago.
 
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James N.

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Anyone have a book recommendation for this battle?

I don't think there are any books specifically on the Battle of Mansfield or Pleasant Hill; they're usually treated as part of the whole Red River Campaign. Ludwell Johnson wrote a book many years ago about it in the 1950's, but I think there have been other more recent ones. He was more concerned with the subtitle of his book Politics and Cotton than he was about military maneuvers anyway.
 

bdtex

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I don't think there are any books specifically on the Battle of Mansfield or Pleasant Hill; they're usually treated as part of the whole Red River Campaign. Ludwell Johnson wrote a book many years ago about it in the 1950's, but I think there have been other more recent ones. He was more concerned with the subtitle of his book Politics and Cotton than he was about military maneuvers anyway.
Thanks. Just trying to do a little more research before I actually visit the site.
 

James N.

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Thanks. Just trying to do a little more research before I actually visit the site.

Of course; I try to always do the same, even if it's just to refresh my memory like last month's visit back to the Shenandoah where I'd been in May!
 

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Anyone have a book recommendation for this battle?

To avoid slogging through the politics of the campaign (L.H. Johnson's book is very good if you're interested in that aspect), you might try The Red River Campaign; Union and Confederate Leadership and the War in Louisiana. It's a collection of essays on the subject and is less than 150 pages. Ed Bearss, Arthur Bergeron, Gary Joiner and Ted Savas contributed, each of them very knowledgeable.

Joiner, an LSU history professor, wrote a guide for those planning a driving tour of the battlefields which is included. Enjoy your trip.
 

bdtex

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In my opinion Ludwell Johnsons book is still the best
To avoid slogging through the politics of the campaign (L.H. Johnson's book is very good if you're interested in that aspect), you might try The Red River Campaign; Union and Confederate Leadership and the War in Louisiana. It's a collection of essays on the subject and is less than 150 pages. Ed Bearss, Arthur Bergeron, Gary Joiner and Ted Savas contributed, each of them very knowledgeable.

Joiner, an LSU history professor, wrote a guide for those planning a driving tour of the battlefields which is included. Enjoy your trip.
Thank you both for the recommendations.
 

AUG

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Anyone have a book recommendation for this battle?
Richard Lowe's history of Walker's Texas Division, as I recommend before, gets into some detail on both Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, which is probably good if you're mainly focusing on where your ancestor in the 18th Texas was. The book mentioned by Drew above is also a fascinating read, but a good portion of it is centered around Col. Henry Gray's Louisiana Brigade, not as much on Walker's Texans.
 
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bdtex

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Richard Lowe's history of Walker's Texas Division, as I recommend before, gets into some detail on both Mansfield and Pleasant Hill, which is probably good if you're mainly focusing on where you're ancestor in the 18th Texas was. The book mentioned by Drew above is also a fascinating read, but a good portion of it is centered around Col. Henry Gray's Louisiana Brigade, not as much on Walker's Texans.
Thanks for the reminder. I need to read that one regardless of my visit(s) to Mansfield/Pleasant Hill.
 

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Bumped.... and the museum there is excellent.... they also have a LOT of resources! They're nice folks.... stayed open for us while Neal read every word on every exhibit....34 years of dragging him along hasn't dimmed his enthusiasm.
 

James N.

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You should take a short turn off from Logansport on your way to Mansfield. Just outside of there is an "International" boundary marker. Showing where Louisiana, USA and the Republic of Texas meet. There is a historical marker there. Also about another 15 minutes up the road you'll find the grave of Moses Rose, the one who left the Alamo a few days before the finale.
I actually portrayed Rose in the IMAX film Alamo - The Price Of Freedom, filmed in June, 1987 on John Wayne's old Alamo set at Brackettville, Texas. Below, in the Alamo plaza with actor Steve Sandor who was our Jim Bowie:

Alamo - The Price of Freedom 005.jpg


Below, Moses Rose at the line-drawing right before he decided that Discretion was the better part of Valor and took off for safer climes:

Alamo - The Price of Freedom 006.jpg
 

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