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I have been remiss posting and updating the Blog because I have been on the road since April 15. Had to return to Shreveport and help out a friend. While I was in Louisiana I made another trip to the Mansfield Battlefield. It's not a great museum but the location is interesting and significant for me. Now that I have actually written a book about the Battle I understand what happened there so much better. I also drove 20 miles south to Pleasant Hill and saw the location of the Army of the Gulf's field headquarters and where they operated their field hospital to treat the Union wounded. The point was made with that trip that Union forces were forced from the field in Mansfield and they retreated 20 miles in four hours in a headlong stampede trying to escape Confederate forces. Quite a feat in 1864 when riding or walking 20 miles usually took all day. It was also impressed upon me again that this battle was probably one of the more insignificant and meaningless conflicts of the Civil War. Despite the fact over 5000 American men lost their lives there. I thought to ask the Museum Director where the bodies were. Almost all the dead were buried in the battlefield a day or two after the conflict. The farmer who owned the land plowed a row for the bodies and slaves planted the dead by hand. Later the bodies they could find were removed. 100 unknowns are buried in a mass grave in the Mansfield Cemetery. The remaining dead were transferred to a military cemetery in Alexandria, Louisiana. Where they were treated like US veterans with headstones and a military funeral. Like it should be. If you are ever in North Louisiana you should go see the Battlefield. It is worth the trip.

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Estaven Shepard
Estaven Shepard
Apr 27, 2021

It is difficult to imagine that anyone has anything new to say about the Civil War even though it was the event that defined what the USA would become. However, I think I succeeded with plausible fiction.


Unknown member
Apr 23, 2021

Interesting stuff to learn, and the photo about the conversation probably nailed it! I grew up on a piece of land that was part of the "40 acres and a mule" my great-great grandfather was granted after fighting in the Civil War, in the side of the Union. I still often wish I'd have hung on to that place after the folks passed!

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