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Wars in the Red River Valley


The construction of the dam at the Alexandria Rapids in Louisiana, brain child of Union officer Joseph Bailey, saved General Nathaniel Banks's fleet from possible destruction by Confederates. The dramatic engineering feat was captured by Harper's Weekly for an 1864 article (LOC).

Two tenuous wars and several stand-alone battles have helped shape the history and geography of the Red River Valley. They all had something in common: the European desire to push native people off their lands in order to grow more cotton and develop ranches using stolen labor.

Read on about the battles and strategies in the troubles along the Red River.

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