150 years ago today–Monday March 14, 1864– began with the advance of Major General Nathaniel Bank’s Red River expedition. Fort De Russy near Simsport, Louisiana was captured. Brigadier General Andrew Jackson Smith, leading troops from Sherman’s old command, accomplished the task easily.
Skirmishes occurred at Bent Creek, Tennessee; Claysville, Alabama; Jones County, Mississippi; and Hopefield, Arkansas. Fort Sumter also suffered bombardment. 143 rounds were fired by the Union Army.
President Abraham Lincoln issued a draft order for 200,000 men for the Navy. His goal was to provide “an adequate reserve force for all contingencies” in the entire military service.
The entire Red River Campaign spanned from March 10 through May 22, 1864.
For more information on the Red River Campaign: http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/mansfield/mansfield-history-articles/redriverjoiner.html