Rare Civil War Pocket Map of LA, MS & ALA with Confederate & Union Lines in Red & Blue Ink
Scarce large scale pocket map of the lower Mississippi/Gulf Coast portion of the Confederate States during the critical Red River Expedition and other LA/MS/AL battles and campaigns in mid 1864. With manuscript blue and red ink additions showing military lines this may have been carried by an officer. Joseph Hutchins Colton. 1864. New York. Shows the two main thrusts of the Red River Campaign in Central Louisiana. The Red River Campaign or Red River Expedition comprised a series of battles fought along the Red River in Louisiana during the American Civil War from March 10 to May 22, 1864. The campaign was a Union initiative, fought between approximately 30,000 Union troops under the command of Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks, and Confederate troops under the command of Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor, whose strength varied from 6,000 to 15,000. The campaign was primarily the plan of Union General-in-Chief Henry W. Halleck, and a diversion from Lt. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s plan to surround the main Confederate armies by using Banks’s Army of the Gulf to capture Mobile, Alabama. It was a Union failure, characterized by poor planning and mismanagement, in which not a single objective was fully accomplished. Taylor successfully defended the Red River Valley with a smaller force. However, the decision of Taylor’s immediate superior, General Edmund Kirby Smith to send half of Taylor’s force north to Arkansas rather than south in pursuit of the retreating Banks after the Battle of Mansfield and the Battle of Pleasant Hill, led to bitter enmity between Taylor and Kirby Smith. Manuscript additions to the map are a bold blue line from Atchefalaya Bay north past the west bank of Chetimaches L(ake) up the Atchafalaya River to near Red River Landing and a dotted blue route line to the west from Brashear northwest to Alexandria on the Red River. Bold and dotted red ink lines run from from Biloxi west along the Mississippi coast to Pearl City, then across the north shore of Lake Pontchartrain and Lake Maurepas thence up Amitie river past Galveston and Marietta to Dennis Mills north and east of Baton Rouge. This line needs the research of a competent Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin, commanding the advance divisions of Banks’s Army of the Gulf, began his march from southern Louisiana on March 10. Meanwhile, A. J. Smith and his two corps traveled via boat from Vicksburg down to Simmesport. After an all-night march, Smith’s men surprised and captured Fort de Russy on the Red River on March 14, capturing 317 Confederate prisoners and the only heavy guns available to the Confederates. This signaled the beginning of the campaign. Admiral Porter was then able to remove a giant raft blocking the river without much difficulty. Taylor was forced to retreat, abandoning Alexandria, Louisiana, and ceding south and central Louisiana to the Union forces. Nevertheless the campaign was a Union failure and it is therefore possible that this map did not sell well. Exceedingly scarce. Not listed in Stephenson. A large map mounted as a pocket map in embossed brown cloth cover. 19″H x 31″W. Very Good.