The Bayou Teche Campaign, or First Bayou Teche Campaign, was a brief military campaign in April and May 1863 during the American Civil War by forces from the Confederate States Army seeking to prevent the Union Army from seizing control of the state of Louisiana. Union forces were trying to trap Confederate units between the Bayou Teche and the Atchafalaya River. A second campaign in the same region occurred in the fall of 1863 and is often referred to as the Second Bayou Teche Campaign. A series of maneuvers and engagements from October until November prevented a Federal invasion of Eastern Texas.

First Bayou Teche Campaign[edit | edit source]

In March 1863, Union commander Nathaniel P. Banks, headquartered near New Orleans, wanted to seize control of Alexandria using a combined force of infantry and Union Navy vessels. He was opposed by various Confederate units under the overall command of Richard Taylor, son of former U.S. President Zachary Taylor. A series of delaying tactics by Confederate cavalry commander Thomas Green were successful in keeping Banks from entrapping Taylor's forces and taking firm control over southern Louisiana. Banks did cut the supply lines to Confederate-held Port Hudson.

Second Bayou Teche Campaign[edit | edit source]

Banks decided in the early autumn of 1863 to try to again gain a Federal foothold in Eastern Texas (an earlier attempt had been repulsed at the Second Battle of Sabine Pass. In October, he ordered troops under Maj. Gen. William B. Franklin to move westward from New Iberia and the Berwick Bay area toward Texas. However, they had failed to reach the Sabine River by mid-November and Banks called off the effort.

References[edit | edit source]

  • Jones, Terry L., Historical Dictionary of the Civil War. Scarecrow Press, 2002. ISBN 0810841126.

External links[edit | edit source]

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