This Week in the Civil War - #799
Nathaniel Banks’ Union offense on the Red River in Louisiana showed signs of failing in early April 1864. A stubborn defense orchestrated by General Richard Taylor slowed Banks’ advance, and low water in the Red River further inhibited his progress. On April 3 Union and Confederate forces skirmished at Grand Ecore, Louisiana, and on April 5 Banks’ main force was challenged in a skirmish near Natchitoches, Louisiana. Steele’s Union flanking force, moving southwest from Little Rock, Arkansas, also was consistently harassed by Confederate forces, fighting skirmishes at Arkadelphia, Arkansas on April 1 and at Marks’ Mill and Whiteley’s Mills, Arkansas on April 5. Taylor had yet to confront Banks in a decisive battle; until such a time and place could be determined the Confederates nonetheless still effectively checked Banks’ progress.