Civil War Tour

Red River Campaign

All-day Tour

  • Trace the route of the Red River Campaign from Simmesport to Shreveport.
  • Begin in Simmesport. 
  • Visit the site of the Battle of Yellow Bayou at Ft. DeRussy, Mansura, Louisiana (perhaps the largest infantry charge of the war by the Union), , 
  • See the sites of Bailey’s Dam, Henderson Hill, Monette’s Ferry, Cloutierville (Magnolia Plantation), Natchitoches & Grand Ecore (port on Red River) and site of Union trenches. 
  • Break for lunch in Natchitoches
  • Head west to Crump’s Corner (cavalry battle) and follow actual road toward Pleasant Hill. {Possible side trip to Fort Jessup}.
  • Explore Pleasant Hill (largest battle fought west of the Mississippi River). 
  • Follow the route of the old Stage Road and visit sites of battles of Wilson’s Farm, Tenmile Bayou, and reach Mansfield, site of battle and end of Union push to Shreveport. (Optional trip up to Shreveport, would include original route, visit to site of Fort Turnbull (known as Fort “Humbug”) and Confederate artillery redoubt on river.)

Half-day Tour

Experience the southern or northern half of the All Day Tour.

Customized Tour

Choose sites that interest you. 

Your Tour Guide:

Jim Kilcoyne, a Civil War historian with a particular interest in and knowledge of events that occurred in Louisiana. Kilcoyne is an award-winning author, re-enactor and longtime guide of Civil War sites in Louisiana. He co-produced the video “The Forgotten March” which is still considered the best production covering the Red River Campaign.

Kilcoyne makes the battles seem to “come alive” as he describes in detail the key moments of battles and how the gallant soldiers on both sides, would have reacted.

You will be enthralled and gain a new appreciation of events that helped to shape our nation’s history

The Red River Campaign – 1864

“…of cotton and politics” is how one historian describes the Red River Campaign. It was more than just a military operation to Northern planners. It was hoped that several things could be accomplished: 

 Seize cotton to be sent to idle Northern textile mills 

 Return Louisiana, first, and then Texas to the Union as examples for other Southern states 

 Place Union-sympathetic politicians into key offices 

 Cut off the Trans-Mississippi Department of the armies of the Confederacy 

 Deny eastern Confederate armies much needed food/supplies being sent from Texas 

These goals over-shadowed the military planning of the campaign and led to a Union defeat. 

Key Sites and Dates
March 12 – Union troops cross Atchafalaya River near Simmesport 

March 14 – Confederate Fort DeRussy is captured 

March 16-20 –Union troops occupy Alexandria

March 21 – Skirmish at Henderson Hill 

March 31 – Union troops occupy Natchitoches 

April 2 – Skirmish at Crump’s Corner 

April 3 – Union captures Port of Grand Ecore

April 7 – Skirmishes at Wilson’s Farm and Tenmile Bayou

April 8 – Battle of Sabine Crossroads (Mansfield) 

April 9 – Battle of Pleasant Hill 

April 10-21 -Union troops hold up at Grand Ecore 

April 23 – Battle of Cloutierville & Monette’s Ferry

May 1 – Entire Union army back in Alexandria

May 7 – Union navy retires to Alexandria

May 11 -13 Bailey’s Dam constructed to free trapped ships 

May 17 – Battle of Mansura 

May 18 – Battle of Yellow Bayou 

May 19– Union army re-crosses Atchafalaya and retreats to Baton Rouge