On March 21, Maj. Gen. Joseph A. Mower led a Union reconnaissance force of 6 infantry regiments, an artillery battery, and a brigade of Brig. Gen. Albert L. Lee’s cavalry during the stormy afternoon, including hail and sleet. They were headed up the Red River to confront the Confederate force, led by Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor, that had been harassing them, trying to find out where the Union army was travelling. Mower’s army was being led to Taylor’s camp by several Confederate deserters.
Order of Battle
During the night, the federals found a route to a wooden rise known as Henderson’s Hill. Here, they surrounded the Confederate camp of the 2nd Louisiana Cavalry. The Confederates were still asleep. The Confederate deserters knew the cavalry’s countersign, and used it to gain entrance into the camp. Mower seized the Confederate pickets and walked into the camp. They captured 250 Confederates, most of their horses, and a 4-gun artillery battery without having to fire a shot.