You are standing on the corner of Main and 1st Streets downtown. The stores and shops were mostly to your left and behind you along Main Street. Some were along 1st Street. About 150 feet to your left was 2nd Street etc. Houses were scattered block by block in all directions from here.
Imagine you were standing here at about 4:30 pm Saturday April 9, 1864. The sound of musket fire, cannons, horses running, clanking of equipment, shouts of orders and screams of wounded men is deafening. Thousands of Yankee solders are running past in various directions as regiments move to new positions to meet the onslaught of the Confederates converging on this spot from three directions.
The Confederate cavalry is dismounted to your right rear. General Churchill's Confederate Arkansas and Missouri divisions are charging in directly behind you and to your left rear. General Walker's Texas division should be in view charging into town, down the Mansfield Road, Main Street and to its right, General Green's dismounted Confederate cavalry is making its way through the woods to your left front and General Polinac's Louisiana and Texas division is coming in more slowly to your left and in front of you way back in the woods. You are standing in a very dangerous place. Bullets are whizzing past you. Cannonballs
are screaming overhead, some exploding close by.
Military activity has been heavy in and through town for a week or so with General Taylor's confederate army concentrating here then falling back to Mansfield. The Yankee cavalry rode into town on the 7th, fighting the Confederate cavalry through town for about 2 miles to Dr. Wilson's farm where the Confederates stopped for a good size fight then they slowly fell back fighting off and on to Sabine Crossroads this side of Mansfield. The Yankee twenty mile long wagon train began passing through on the 7th and all day on the 8th with Yankee soldiers trying to get past it to where General Taylor's army was slaughtering the Yankee cavalry at Sabine Crossroads on the 8th. Most of the Yankee infantry arrived here during the night of the 8th from Grand Ecore and began digging in to get ready for the Confederates. They skirmished around the town all day on the 9th then all hell broke loose around 4 pm. The battle continued for over 2 hours in and around the town. About dark the Confederates fell back about 2 miles. The Yankees pulled out during the night, leaving the dead and wounded were they fell.
A terrible sight met the eyes of those who braved the field of carnage on that Sunday morning. Many thousands of dead, dying and wounded men lying as far as the eyes could see intermixed with well over
a thousand dead horses, broken and scattered equipment, etc. The activity in Pleasant Hill continued. The dead soldiers had to be buried, the wounded tended, the dead horses burned, the thousands of muskets and other scattered usable equipment gathered and the mess cleaned up. Scattered items, spent and dropped bullets, cannonball fragments, etc. are still being picked up here and there today 130 years later.
There would be more deadly fighting for the armies as the Yankees extracted themselves from the Red River Campaign. General Bank's army to the south, General Steel's army to the north and Admiral Porter's fleet on the river but the Battle for Shreveport and threatened invasion of Texas was over.