2nd USCT Infantry Regiment 1st USCT Infantry Regiment 1st Alabama Cavalry Regiment 1861 Skirmishes 1862 Skirmishes 1863 Skirmishes 1864 Skirmishes 1865 Skirmishes Alternate Battle Names 3rd Regiment Alabama Infantry 1861-04-12 Battle of Fort Sumter 1861-04-15 Evacuation of Fort Sumter 1861-04-19 Riots in Baltimore 1861-05-07 Gloucester Point 1861-05-10 Camp Jackson 1861-05-10 Riots in St. Louis 1861-05-18 Sewell’s Point 1861-05-29 Aquia Creek 1861-06-01 Fairfax Court House I 1861-06-01 Arlington Mills 1861-06-03 Philippi 1861-06-05 Pig Point 1861-06-10 Big Bethel 1861-06-15 Hooe’s Ferry 1861-06-17 Vienna 1861-06-17 Boonville 1861-06-19 Cole Camp 1861-06-27 Mathias Point 1861-07-02 Hoke’s Run 1861-07-05 Carthage 1861-07-05 Neosho 1861-07-08 Laurel Hill 1861-07-11 Rich Mountain 1861-07-12 Barboursville 1861-07-13 Corrick’s Ford 1861-07-17 Scary Creek 1861-07-17 Bunker Hill 1861-07-18 Blackburn’s Ford 1861-07-21 Manassas I 1861-07-22 Forsyth 1861-07-25 Mesilla I 1861-07-27 Fort Fillmore 1861-07-28 Sinking of the Petrel 1861-08 Siege of Tubac 1861-08 Cooke’s Canyon 1861-08 Battle of the Florida Mountains 1861-08-02 Dug Springs 1861-08-03 Curran Post Office 1861-08-05 Athens 1861-08-07 Hampton 1861-08-10 Wilson’s Creek 1861-08-10 Potosi 1861-08-19 Charleston 1861-08-25 Mason’s Hill 1861-08-26 Kessler’s Cross Lanes 1861-08-28 Hatteras Inlet Batteries 1861-08-31 Munson’s Hill 1861-09-02 Dry Wood Creek 1861-09-02 Gallinas Massacre 1861-09-08 Placito 1861-09-10 Carnifex Ferry 1861-09-11 Lewinsville 1861-09-12 Cheat Mountain 1861-09-12 Lexington I 1861-09-17 Liberty 1861-09-19 Barbourville 1861-09-21 Fredericktown I 1861-09-24 Canada Alamosa 1861-09-27 Pinos Altos 1861-10-03 Greenbrier River 1861-10-05 Cockle Creek 1861-10-09 Santa Rosa Island 1861-10-12 Battle of the Head of Passes 1861-10-21 Ball’s Bluff 1861-10-21 Camp Wildcat 1861-10-21 Fredericktown II 1861-10-23 Big Sandy Expedition 1861-10-25 Springfield I 1861-11-03 Port Royal 1861-11-07 Belmont 1861-11-08 Ivy Mountain 1861-11-19 Round Mountain 1861-11-20 Skirmish at Brownsville 1861-11-20 Hunter’s Mills 1861-12-04 Bog Wallow Ambush 1861-12-09 Chusto-Talasah 1861-12-13 Camp Allegheny 1861-12-17 Rowlett’s Station 1861-12-19 Skirmish at Blackwater Creek 1861-12-20 Dranesville 1861-12-26 Chustenahlah 1861-12-28 Mount Zion Church 1861-12-28 Sacramento 1862-01-01 Crook’s 1862 Expedition 1862-01-03 Cockpit Point 1862-01-05 Hancock 1862-01-08 Roan’s Tan Yard 1862-01-10 Middle Creek 1862-01-11 Lucas Bend 1862-01-19 Mill Springs


Start: 1863-04-12              End: 1863-04-13

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The Battle of Fort Bisland was fought in the American Civil War between Union Major General Nathaniel P. Banks against Confederate Major General Richard Taylor during Banks’ operations against the Bayou Teche region in southern Louisiana.


When Banks was made commander of the XIX Army Corps, Department of the Gulf, on December 16, 1862, he was ordered to coordinate an attack against the Confederate bastion of Port Hudson while General Ulysses S. Grant moved against Vicksburg. Banks made preparations for this campaign, but he knew the difficulties he would face on the march there. First, the area from New Orleans, was marshy, full of swamps, and disease would be rampant. There was also another obstacle in Bank’s path — General Richard Taylor’s small Army of Western Louisiana.

Banks formulated a plan that would take the XIX Corps to Alexandria, securing the Bayou Teche region that was laden with natural forage and unused supplies. He would establish supply depots along the way and then would move from Alexandria against Port Hudson. However, the quick movement he hoped for was slowed by Taylor’s small army in a series of attacks, beginning with Fort Bisland, located in St. Mary Parish, Louisiana.

Order of Battle


When Banks departed New Orleans, he planned to capture Taylor’s army in its entirety. On April 9, two divisions from the XIX Corps crossed Berwick Bay from Brashear City (present day Morgan City, Louisiana) to the west side at Berwick. On April 11, Banks began his advance in earnest. Taylor was well aware of Banks’ advance because of successful scouting by his cavalry under Brig. Gen. Thomas Green. Green shadowed Banks’ army and reported back to Taylor every detail of the maneuvers of the Union army.

On April 12, Banks sent a third division, under Brig. Gen. Cuvier Grover, up the Atchafalaya River to land in the rear of Franklin, intending to intercept a Confederate retreat from Fort Bisland or turn the enemy’s position. General Taylor sent some of Green’s cavalry to the front to ascertain the enemy’s strength and slow his advance. He also sent troops under Brig. Gen. Alfred Mouton to impede the advance of Grover’s division. Late in the day, Union troops of Brig. Gen. William H. Emory’s division arrived and formed a battle line outside the Fort Bisland’s defenses. An artillery barrage ensued from both sides until dark when the Federal troops fell back to camp for the night.

About 9:00 a.m. on April 13, Union forces again advanced on Fort Bisland. Banks had three brigades in position south of the Bayou Teche. The brigades were deployed with Godfrey Weitzel on the left, Halbert E. Paine on the right (anchored on Bayou Teche) with Timothy Ingraham in support. Opposing the Union forces south of the Teche was the “Arizona Brigade” commanded by Brig. Gen. Henry Hopkins Sibley. North of Bayou Teche was the Union brigade of Oliver P. Gooding who faced off against Mouton’s Confederate brigade.

Combat did not begin until after 11:00 a.m. and continued until dusk. In addition to Confederate forces in the earthworks, the gunboat Diana, which had been captured and was now in Confederate hands, shelled the Union troops. U.S. gunboats joined the fray in late afternoon.

By early evening, fire had halted. Later that night, Taylor learned that the Union division that went up the Atchafalaya and landed in his rear was now in a position to cut off a Confederate retreat. Taylor began evacuating supplies, men, and weapons, leaving a small force to slow any enemy movement. The next morning, Banks and his men found the fort abandoned.


Fort Bisland was the only fortification that could have impeded this Union offensive, and it had fallen. Banks continued his march up Bayou Teche after this initial battle onward to his ultimate objective of Alexandria, Louisiana.

Taylor would slow Banks again a few days later at the Battle of Irish Bend.


Total Killed Wounded Missing Captured
USA Battle Flag 234
CSA Battle Flag small 450
Combined Forces

References: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Fort_Bisland

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