Thursday, September 1, 2016

Mansfield Battlefield - Mansfield, LA (The Three-Day Bloodbath)

15149 Highway 175
Mansfield, LA 71052

            Just south of Shreveport, lays the small town of Mansfield and the site of a very significant Civil War battle. Once again, history would repeat itself as an undermanned and underequipped Confederate Army battled the odds in overcoming a powerful Union Army.  
            After Union troops seized Vicksburg and Port Hudson in July of 1863, the Mississippi River area was under their full control. Their next plans were to progress north, taking over the Trans-Mississippi headquarters in Shreveport, making their final stop in Texas. The Union assumed that the trek to Shreveport would be a cake walk, possibly only dealing with minimal Confederate resistance.
            Such was not the case, as Union army, let by General N.P. Banks, encountered a Confederate squad of ten thousand and fifty, led by General Richard Taylor. Taylor, the son of President Zachary Taylor, planned to spread out the larger Union army and fight them in smaller groups.

            Known in the history books as the Battle of Mansfield-Pleasant Hill, the battle actually spanned over three days. Beginning April 7, 1864 with a cavalry battle near an area known as Wilson’s Farm. General Taylor’s plan was to begin falling back to defend an area several miles south
Battle of Mansfield Maneuver Map
of Mansfield. With the Union presuming a retreat, they began to break up and casually attempt to make their way to Shreveport.

            The next day, a disorganized group of about six thousand four hundred Union soldiers encountered a very “locked and loaded” Confederacy of over ten thousand! As the Union rushed to form a line of defense along an area known as Honeycutt Hill, they were quickly taken over. The remaining six thousand five hundred Union soldiers were positioned two miles south at Chapman’s Bayou. The next morning, they backed into Pleasant Hill and the most intense part of the three day affair began.
            Both sides would lose many soldiers during the last battle. However, hard work, strategic planning and perseverance paid off, as the Confederacy overcame the Union, who retreated back to Alexandria. This battle officially put a stop to the Red River Campaign and any attempts at a Shreveport siege. This was an extremely valuable victory, as it is said to have delayed the end of the Civil War by several months.
            The battle site is an important piece of Louisiana history and was recognized as a historic
Artist's Rendering of the Battle
landmark in 1973. The grounds are host to a museum, several monuments and multiple events throughout the year such as Civil War recreations.

            The three days of deadly fighting is still said to live on as the tone of battle can be heard to this day. Ghostly sounds of gunfire and cannon blasts have been heard and multiple apparitions of Union and Confederate soldiers have been seen here. On one occasion, we opted to camp out on the property the night after a recreation had taken place. We felt this would be an opportune time to investigate, as the energy in the air may still be amped up from the daytime events. During the night, several unexplainable EMF spikes were detected and a few instances where investigators heard what sounded like gunshots in the distance. The gunfire could have been easily explained by possible hunters nearby yet it was still quite interesting to camp out on a field where so much violence and intensity had taken place years ago. One can only wonder, and often expect, such surges in energy to be recorded in some fashion or another within the environment.


  1. Mansfield State Historic Site has some great haunted history programs on tap at the battlefield museum in October! For more information on them and your ability to tour this hallowed ground visit: