Confederate "Taylor" Battle Flag
Flown during the Red River Campaign
The Red River campaign of 1864 was the largest and most formidable military campaign that the Union ever conducted against the Confederacy west of the Mississippi. The federal goals were to secure Shreveport and western Louisiana, and seize the cotton lands of East Texas and the Confederate military supply centers in Marshall and Jefferson. The campaign was also a political gamble to boost President Lincoln's chances for reelection.
Confederate commanders moved ruthlessly to defend against the invasion, stripping Texas, Missouri, and Arkansas of all available manpower. At the first major battle of the campaign at Mansfield, Louisiana, 11,000 Confederates under Richard Taylor administered a terrible beating to the federal force. Two days later, the two sides met again at Pleasant Hill, a battle that marked the start of an ugly and nightmarish federal retreat.
This flag, from an unidentified Texas regiment, is inscribed with battle honors: "Mansfield, April 8th 1864" and "Pleasant Hill, April 9, 1864." It is one of only two “Taylor” battle flags still in existence. Taylor flags are named for General Richard Taylor, the Confederate commander in western Louisiana, and display the reverse colors of the more well-known Confederate battle flag.
Texas State Library and Archives Commission, Austin
This artifact is not on view.