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1864 The Red River Campaign Signal Corps Field Orders

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April 5, 1864-Dated Civil War Period, Head Quarters Signal Corps, Department of the Gulf Field Orders No. 2 Ordering a Lt. to Admiral Porter for Signal Duty, 6-7/8" x 9-7/8", 1 page, Choice Very Fine.

General Nathaniel P. Banks, through Frank W. Marston, Capt. & Chief Signal Officer, Dept. of the Gulf, orders:

(1) "First Lieutenant A. B. Jerome, Signal Corps U.S.A. will report without delay to Admiral Porter for Signal Duty; he will be accompanied by two flagmen fully equipped.

2. Lieut. Jerome will be prepared to work in the cypher code; and to send despatches in the Signal cypher approved by General Banks. By order of Maj. Gen. Banks.

A historical document issued during General Banks' Red River Campaign in the Spring of 1864, dated 3 days before his forces were routed at the Battle of Sabine Crossroads. Nicely handwritten in brown ink on very clean light blue lined wove period paper with light transmittal folds. Very fresh and clean overall.
The Red River Campaign was a military operation conducted by the Union Army during the American Civil War in 1864. The campaign was led by Major General Nathaniel P. Banks and aimed to secure control of the Red River in Louisiana, as well as capture the important Confederate stronghold of Shreveport.

Here is an overview of General Banks' Red River Campaign:

Capture Shreveport, Louisiana: Shreveport was a key Confederate stronghold and an important transportation hub. Control of Shreveport would give the Union access to the Red River and disrupt Confederate supply lines.

Control of Red River: The Red River was a vital waterway for transporting goods, and securing control of it was strategically important for both the Union and the Confederacy.

Advance into Louisiana (March 1864): The campaign began with Union forces, under General Banks, advancing into Louisiana. The plan was to move up the Red River, capturing key towns along the way.

Occupation of Alexandria (March-April 1864): Union forces captured the town of Alexandria on the Red River. However, the campaign faced difficulties due to low water levels in the river, making navigation challenging for the Union Navy's gunboats.

Battle of Mansfield (April 8, 1864): Confederate forces, led by General Richard Taylor, engaged the Union forces near Mansfield, Louisiana. The Confederates won the battle, dealing a significant blow to the Union campaign.

Retreat and Battle of Pleasant Hill (April 9, 1864): Following the defeat at Mansfield, the Union forces retreated to Pleasant Hill. They faced another Confederate attack but managed to hold their ground. Despite the tactical success at Pleasant Hill, Banks decided to continue the retreat.

Union Retreat and Navy's Difficulties: The Union forces, facing supply and logistical challenges and with the Red River falling to lower levels, were forced to abandon the original plan to reach Shreveport. The Union Navy's gunboats faced difficulties navigating the shrinking river.

End of the Campaign: The Union forces continued their retreat, and the campaign ended without achieving its primary objectives. The Red River Campaign was considered a failure for the Union, and it had significant political and military repercussions.

The campaign's failure was a blow to Union prestige, and it had political consequences for General Banks, who faced criticism for his handling of the operation.

The Confederacy retained control of Shreveport and maintained its grip on the Red River, at least temporarily.

The campaign highlighted the challenges of conducting military operations in difficult and unfamiliar terrain, as well as the importance of logistical support and favorable weather conditions.

In summary, General Banks' Red River Campaign was a notable Civil War operation marked by setbacks, battles, and a Union retreat, ultimately failing to achieve its strategic goals.
Lot Number: 189
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Early American
1520 Commerce St., # 312 • Winchester, VA 22601
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