In the spring of 1864, Union Commander-in-Chief Ulysses S. Grant was looking to tighten the noose on the Confederacy with five simultaneous offensives. General Nathan Banks was deputed to seize Shreveport in Louisiana by marching up the Red River. Confederate General Richard Taylor was determined to stop him, and picked his field of battle, a clearing south of, and straddling, the road to the town of Mansfield, declaring ‘I would fight Banks here, if he has a million men’. After trying, but failing, to provoke a Union assault, Taylor ordered his own men forward, led by General Mouton’s brigades. Under withering fire, Mouton was mortally wounded, but the Union left flank buckled and soon the whole Union army was in retreat. Reserves led by Robert Cameron ultimately stemmed the Confederate advance. Taylor had outmanoeuvred a numerically superior enemy and managed to seize most of the Union supplies.
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