Battle of Pleasant Hill

Part of the Red River Campaign

Battle Summary
Date 04/09/1864 - 04/09/1864
Location Pleasant Hill
Result Although some historians say it technically was a Union victory, it is considered by others a Confederate victory since the Union forces retreated.
Flag of the United States United States
Flag of Confederate States of America CSA (Confederacy)
Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor
Forces Engaged
Red River Expeditionary Force (Banks’s Department of the Gulf) District of West Louisiana (Trans-Mississippi Department)
12,000 12,100
Source: Wikipedia - Battle of Pleasant Hill
Casualties and losses
Killed 150
Wounded 844
Missing 375 426
Total 1,369 1,626
Source: Wikipedia - Battle of Pleasant Hill
Synopsis of the battle:
Pleasant Hill was the last major battle of the Red River campaign of 1864 and was the largest battle fought west of the Mississippi River. By April 1864, Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks’s Red River Expedition had advanced about 150 miles up Red River. Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor, commander of the Confederate forces in the area, decided, without any instructions from his commander Gen. E. Kirby Smith, that it was time to try and stem this Union drive. Taylor gained a victory at Mansfield on April 8. Banks withdrew from that battlefield to Pleasant Hill, but he knew that fighting would resume the next day. Early on the 9th, Taylor’s reinforced forces marched toward Pleasant Hill in the hopes of finishing the destruction of the Union force. Although outnumbered, Taylor felt that the Union army would be timid after Mansfield and that an audacious, well-coordinated attack would be successful. The Confederates closed up, rested for a few hours, and then attacked at 5:00 pm. Taylor planned to send a force to assail the Union front while he rolled up the left flank and moved his cavalry around the right flank to cut the escape route. The attack on the Union left flank, under the command of Brig. Gen. Thomas J. Churchill, succeeded in sending those enemy troops fleeing for safety. Churchill ordered his men ahead, intending to attack the Union center from the rear. Union troops, however, discerned the danger and hit Churchill’s right flank, forcing a retreat. Pleasant Hill was the last major battle, in terms of numbers of men involved, of the Louisiana phase of the Red River Campaign. Although Banks won this battle, he retreated, wishing to get his army out of west Louisiana before any greater calamity occurred. The battles of Mansfield and Pleasant Hill jointly (although the former was much more decisive) influenced Banks to forget his objective of capturing Shreveport.

Status of the Battlefield:
It is not known if the battlefield has been preserved.

The battlefield has been preserved as the Pleasant Hill Battle Park.

Surviving earthworks: Unknown

Aids for your visit to the battlefield:
Is there a battlefield app? Unknown
Map of the Battlefield showing the locations of the markers? Unknown

Monuments Documented:
There are 0 monuments documented by CWBFM on the battlefield.

More Information • • •
  1. Wikipedia: Battle of Pleasant Hil ( Submitted on 04/07/2017 by ). change
  2. CWSAC: Battle of Pleasant Hill CWSAC Reference #: LA019 ( Submitted on 04/07/2017 by ). change

This page originally submitted by hoteltwo of Montgomery, AL, on March 31, 2017. This page has been viewed 1059 time(s) since then. This page has been updated 1 time(s) since then. The page was last updated by Byron Hooks of Sandy Springs, GA, on February 26, 2021. BG Hooks was the editor who published this page on April 07, 2017.