Friday, June 29, 2012

Contraband On Plantations

Fought by black Union troops the Battle of Goodrich’s Landing occurred on June 29th and June 30th 1863.

When the Union began occupying Louisiana, many escaped slaves or contraband went to them for protection.  Those members of the Union government in the area leased, or took over some plantations placing these newly freedmen on the plantations growing crops.  As protection African American soldiers were assigned to guard these properties.

Confederate troops under Colonel William H Parsons took on a mission to try to re-capture some of these areas.  They left from Gaines’s Landing, Arkansas to attack a fort the Union had built on an Indian mound.  On June 29th 1863 Parsons’ men demanded surrender of the Union troops holding the fort, which they accepted.  The Confederate troops began burning the plantations in the area, before having a fight with the Union 1st Kansas Mounted Infantry.

The next morning June 30th 1863 the Mississippi Marine Brigade under the command of Union Brigadier General Alfred W Ellet landed at Goodrich’s Landing.  Ellet along with Union Colonel William F Wood began skirmishing with Parsons Confederates.  As the fight became heated Parsons withdrew his men.

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