War Along the Bayous: The 1864 Red River Campaign in Louisiana

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  • The Union Army's Red River Campaign and Camden Expedition of 1864 were intended to drive the Confederates from Louisiana and Arkansas and to discourage any territorial designs Napoleon III of France might have on the American Southwest. This large-scale, two-pronged operation was a complicated, combined-operations affair that had army and naval forces in Louisiana driving north to Shreveport to link up with a second army descending from Arkansas. Undertaken at the wrong time, for the wrong reasons, and with poor planning, organization, and execution, no major operation during the war had less to recommend it. War Along the Bayous concentrates on the Louisiana portion of this ill-advised campaign that resulted in heavy losses and very nearly turned into a complete disaster for the Union.