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 Posted: Tue Sep 15th, 2009 11:34 am
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Colonel Coffee
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General Nathaniel P. Banks and 30,000 federal troops attempted to fight their way up the Red River from New Orleans but were turned back by less than 12,000 Confederate troops of Lt. Gen. Richard Taylor. The plan was that of Union General-in-Chief Henry Halleck.

The goal of the Camden Expedition from Little Rock and the Red River Campaign from New Orleans was to combine the 30,000 man army of Gen. Banks with 15,000 troops under Gen. Frederick Steele and invade northeast Texas. Steele failed to get through due to heavy rain in southern Arkansas and was met by the forces of General Sterling Price and units from Gen. Taylor. Gen. Samuel Bell Maxey and the Texas Cavalry Brigade from north Texas and Indian Territory led by Col. Richard M. Gano also played a key role in the defeat of Gen. Steele. The highly mobile Texas Cavalry Brigade protected Gen. Price along the Line Road which ran down the Arkansas-Indian Territory border to Lanesport Arkansas on the Red River. Gano's mobile forces also   defended against an invasion of north Texas through Indian Territory on the Texas Road from Little Rock, Fort Gibson and Fort Scott Kansas.

 The Red River Campaign and the Camden Expediton was a brilliant Confederate victory and caused the Union forces in New Orleans to make an attempt to invade Texas from the Gulf of Mexico. That attempt was also a failure and was concluded with a Confederate victory at the  battle of Palminto Ranch in May 1865.

My great grandfather was  in Capt. John Henry Damron's  Spy Company (Co.C), Lt. Col. Peter C. Hardeman's/ Major Michael Looscan's and Col. T.C. Hawpe's  1st/31st  Texas Cavalry Consolidated Regiment  of Col. Richard Montgomery Gano's Texas Cavalry Brigade in  Gen. Samuel Bell Maxey's Division.  The 1st/31st Texas Cavalry regiment saw action at Poison Springs, Massard's Prairie and  2nd Battle of Cabin Creek in Indian Territory with Col. Gano and Col. Stand Watie in command of the  Confederate forces.  After the war, Capt. Damron and my great grandfather married sisters and moved to the frontier in west Texas in order to escape the post-war strife in northeast Texas.    

After Lee surrendered at Appomatox, Gen. Sheridan put his headquarters in New Orleans because he was still  afraid of Texas and knew they were not whipped. Aware of the sentiment in Texas, Sheridan sent Colonel George A. Custer to the "Deaf and Dumb School"  at the University of Texas in Austin to accept the surrender of Texas Confederates. Sheridan felt that Custer was expendable and indeed he was.

Last edited on Tue Sep 15th, 2009 11:58 am by Colonel Coffee

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