Monett's Ferry, LA

Photos/Text courtesy of William Bozic, Houston, TX
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1. Battle of Monett's Ferry - Wikipedia

2. Louisiana Civil War Battle Monett's Ferry Red River Expedition

3. Battle Summary: Monett's Ferry, LA
4. Battle of Cane River, Louisiana (Red River Expedition, Monett's Ferry) April 23 in History

(March 16, 2008) Enlarge Battle of Monett's Ferry April 23, 1864

This view shows the field over which the Union troops of Grover's Division led by Brig. Gen Henry Birge, Benedict's Brigade led by Colonel Francis Fessenden and the remnants of the US XIII Corps make a flank attack through an unguarded ford in the Cane river which is out of view in the distance. Crossing this open "killing field" into the fire of Confederate troops the Union flankers were attempting to save the entire army from destruction and encirclement on an island between the Cane and Red Rivers..

While this flank attack was being made, Union Brig. General William H. Emory made a fient at Monett's Ferry which fooled Confederate Brig. General Hamilton P. Bee into ordering a retreat, thus allowing the Union Army to be saved.

A good book to read about this event is THROUGH THE HOWLING WILDERNESS: THE 1864 RED RIVER CAMPAIGN AND UNION FAILURE IN THE WEST by Gary D. Joiner (Univ. of Tenn. Press: Knoxville) 2006. pp.144-7

(March 16, 2008) Enlarge In the book THE RED RIVER CAMPAIGN: UNION AND CONFEDERATE LEADERSHIP AND THE WAR IN LOUISIANA, edited by Theodore P. Savas, David A. Woodbury, and Gary D. Joiner, Parabellum Press 2003, page 124. This location (I-49 Chopin Exit is described as the center of fighting in the April 23, 1864 Battle of Monett's Ferry.

Confederate Colonel George Baylor' 2nd Texas Arizona Brigade Cavalry Regiment and Colonel Isham Chisum's 2nd Texas Partisan ranger Regiment held the hill while union troops assaulted from a position near this point. It is obvious the Confederates occupied a strong position but Union troops greatly out-numbered the defenders and caused them to give ground at a heavy price


(March 16, 2008) Near the Site of Monett's Ferry

This is near the site of Monett's Ferry taken from a bridge on LA Hwy #490 which crosses the Cane River. The heavily wooded banks of the Cane River appear as they did at the time of the battle on April 23, 1864. This photo was taken March 16, 2008. Confederate Cavalry under Brig. Gen Hamilton P. Bee were on the right-hand side of the river and Union troops on the left. Bee was badly outnumbered so he placed many of his 1,600 cavalrymen as skirmishers in the woods to maximize their strength and give the impression of a much larger force. Bee also placed his 8 batteries of artillery on a bluff near the ferry so anything that got close would be annihilated. (A point the Federals comprehended)

Northern Commander William Emory believed Bee's position to be impregnable, hence he sent the flanking movement to find another place to ford the Cane River which, lucky for him, proved to be successful.

Additional information can be found in:
WAR ALONG THE BAYOUS: THE 1864 RED RIVER CAMPAIGN IN LOUISIANA by William Brooksher (Brassey's: Canada) 1998. pp.172-185. and RED RIVER CAMPAIGN: POLITICS AND COTTON IN THE CIVIL WAR by Ludwell H. Johnson (Kent State Univ Press: Kent Ohio) 1993. pp. 225-235


(March 16, 2008) Louisiana Highway #490 crosses the Cane River at this bridge. This view is from the Confederate side looking toward the Union side (Cane River Island). When the photo was taken on March 16, 2008 there were no markers nor any indication of any Civil War activity at this location. The farms and woods made for a very bucolic setting
Confederate 1st Division Commander Brig. General Hamilton P. Bee was told to hold the position. He had a strong position but was outflanked and vastly outnumbered. Major General Richard Taylor relived Bee of command. The following item appeared in the June 8, 1864 issue of the Houston Daily Telegraph Newspaper as a result. Note the names
Marksville, La. May 11, 1864
The undersigned officers of the 1st Division, being in active campaign, and without facilities of assembling together, beg leave to present individually to Gen H. P. Bee, an assurance of our high appreciation of his conduct while in command of this Division.
From the month of November, 1863, to the present time, he has commanded this division; he has led it on many battle fields, and has ever been distinguished for his gallantry and cool indifference to danger, whilest exercising a wise caution and prudence, which enabled this small command to keep in check the movements of a largely superior force of the enemy, all the time annoying and harassing them.
We believe that the division has rendered material service to the country and cause, and that, with the aid of that experience which every day’s contact with the enemy gave, Gen. Bee’s future as a commander was fraught with promise to the cause, and honor of himself. We beg to tender expressions of regret which we all feel in parting with him, and our best wishes for his future success and happiness.
Very respectfully, &c.

J.B. Likens, Col. Com’dg. 35th Texas Cavalry

J.R. Burns, Lieut. Col. “ “ “

J.O. Robertson, Lieut. Col. com’dg. Terrell’s Regt. Cavalry

Wm. O. Yager, Col. com’dg 1stTexas Cavalry

A.W. Terrell, Col com’dg 2d. Brig. Div.

P.C. Woods, Col. com’dg 32d Texas Cavalry

W.O. Hutchinson, Major “ “ “

H.C. Gould, Col. com’dg 23d Texas Cavalry

Wm. G. Vincent, Col. com’dg 2d Regt. La.
This notice appeared on the front page of the June 8, 1864 issue of the Houston Daily Telegraph

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