Civil War Photo Contest
Regtl. Quartermaster Chickamauga 2018
- Jul 21, 2015
- Houston,TX area
The Red River Campaign and Its Toll~69 Bloody Days in Louisiana, March-May 1864
Author: Henry O. Robertson
Published in 2016 by McFarland & Company,Inc. in Jefferson,North Carolina
209 pages including notes, bibliography and index
Paperback,$29.95 on Amazon
The author is an Associate Professor of History at Louisiana College and a resident of Alexandria, Louisiana,on the Red River. I believe this is his first published book. He was a speaker at the Annual Jefferson Civil War Symposium,in Jefferson,Texas last August. I purchased the book from him for $25,I believe.
The book is comprised of 10 chapters and is basically a starter book on the Red River Campaign. The book is not limited to the military aspect and history of the campaign. It begins with the prewar settlement and economic development of the Red River Valley and the politics of secession within the Louisiana parishes and adjoining parishes along the Red River. It describes the sacrifices made in early war Louisiana along the river. Goods produced there and troops raised there were shipped to other parts of the Confederacy and life was difficult for the pro-Union citizens. Chapters 5-10 cover the military operations of the Red River Campaign from its beginning to the burning of Alexandria. Of particular interest to this reader was the material presented on the second phase of the Battle of Mansfield at Chapman's Bayou. The author went into much more detail about that military clash than any other Red River Campaign book that I have read.
The other thing of special note is the author's description of what was basically "hard war" upon civilians and merchants along the Red River. The author notes that the character of the war had changed in 1864 and provided many examples along the Red River. Most of the countryside was marched and fought over by Union forces burning structures and goods along the way and Confederate forces foraging for food for themselves and feed for their animals. Confederates were ultimately victors in the Red River Campaign but the civilian population paid a heavy price.