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The entrance area has some monuments.
Mansfield State Historic Site
Closest available address
15149 Louisiana 175, Mansfield, LA 71052
Open 9-5 all week, closed on some holidays.
Best time to visit
Summer, Fall, Spring
Established in 1957, the Mansfield State Historic Site preserves a portion of the US Civil War Battle of Mansfield. The historic site is 178 acres and includes some walking trails, a museum and a reconstructed camp site. Unlike many Louisiana historic sites, Mansfield is open all week making a visit easier to plan.
The Red River Campaign was a Union offensive in the spring of 1864 intended to capture Confederate positions in upper Louisiana and east Texas. Union troops advanced from the south and east but coordination was lacking and roads were poor. After some initial successes, the advance became disorganized and Confederate resistance stiffened. The local Confederate commander attacked leading Union elements at Mansfield with a full charge in the afternoon. The charge was repulsed on the Union right but it crushed the Union left and the Confederates captured many soldiers. Union troops retreated till they were able to make a successful stand around nightfall when fighting tapered off. The battle was a Confederate victory and helped to end the Union campaign.
The original battle took place over thousands of acres so only a small fraction of it is preserved in the park. It’s hard to get a sense of the fighting or formations from the short walking trails. The museum and movie were better though, especially the movie which provided a good historical overview. The museum is currently being renovated and is due to be completed in April or May, 2013. Some of the more interesting exhibits include historical artifacts, such as uniforms, flags and equipment. The staff here was very nice and quick to answer any questions, but aside for a brief stop at the museum, even Civil War buffs are not likely to find much of interest. There is a small roadside exhibit about 15 minutes south on the Battle of Pleasant Hill. Additional events such as living history days are held throughout the year, check the park’s Facebook page or call the visitor center for information.
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