Friday, March 14, 2014

150-years-ago -- BATTLE OF HENDERSON HILL, LA

Col. Sylvester G. Hill,
35th Iowa Infantry.
(Photo. History of the C.W.)
      The Battle of Henderson Hill occurred March 21, 1864 during the Red River Campaign when part of the 2nd Louisiana Cavalry and Edgar's Battery, 1st Texas Light Artillery were surprised and captured by the 35th Iowa Infantry and 33rd Missouri Infantry at upriver from Alexandria, Louisiana. The Federals made their approach during wretched weather with rain and hail helping mask their approach.
Confederate Cavalryman
      After dark, guided by deserters and jayhawkers, the two Federal regiments pushed forward toward the camp of the 2nd Louisiana Cavalry, commanded by Colonel William Vincent. At about 10:30 p.m., the guards at  eight Confederate picket posts were surprised and captured without a shot being fired. Then at about midnight, the bluecoats found the main Confederate camp, and the 35th Iowa surrounded and captured the Southerners in the house and a section of Edgar's Battery before their presence had been discovered.
       The Confederate guns were ready with horses hitched and two of the pieces loaded with canister, but obviously the men were not ready. The two Federal regiments then fixed bayonets and moved in on the rest of the camp, captured another section of the artillery and then the cavalrymen, some of whowere mounting their horses. Only a few shots were fired in resistance. While  Colonel Vincent escaped, 16 officers and 206 men were captured, along with horses, cavalry equipment, artillery pieces and horses, and the encampment completely destroyed.
      Confederate General Richard Taylor had lost most the available cavalry he had at that time.

      


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