Thursday, April 23, 2009

Crossing Cane River

Toward the end of the Red River Expedition on April 23rd 1864, Union Major General Nathaniel P Banks being followed by Confederate forces evacuated Grand Ecore and retreated to Alexandria. The forward command being lead by Brigadier General William H Emory ran into confederate Brigadier General Hamilton P Bee’s cavalry near Monett’s Ferry on the Cane River.

Bee’s order was to keep the Union troops from crossing. Emory was reluctant to attack the strong position in the front of the Confederate line, and sent two brigades to search for another crossing. One brigade found a way around and hit the Confederate’s in their flank, causing them to retreat.

The Union troops put down a pontoon bridge and by the next day all had crossed the river. The chance to capture or destroy Bank’s army at Monett’s Ferry was gone.

Some other reading
Through the Howling Wilderness: The 1864 Red River Campaign and Union Failure in the West

Little to Eat and Thin Mud to Drink: Letters, Diaries, and Memoirs from the Red River Campaigns, 1863-1864

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