Importance of Richmond, LA, and Battle of Richmond, June 15, 1863

The small town of Richmond (then the seat of government of Madison Parish) sat astride an important Confederate supply route, over which the Vicksburg garrison received large quantities of foodstuffs from the region between the Mississippi and Tensas Rivers. That supply line was cut as Grant's army began its push south from Milliken's Bend.

Following the engagement at Milliken's Bend on June 7, Grant redeployed Brig. Gen. Joseph Mower's "Eagle Brigade"* from the Vicksburg area to Young's Point. Coupled with Brig. Gen. Alfred V. Ellet's Mississippi Marine Brigade, the Federal force was to drive Walker's Texans from Richmond. The Federals rendezvoused at Lum's Depot, and advanced on Richmond with the marines in the lead.

One mile north of this point, the Federal advance was contested by skirmishers from the 18th Texas. The Texans held the marines at bay until Mower's troops arrived and formed a line of battle, at which time the Southerners fell back to a position behind Roundaway Bayou. For the next hour a spirited artillery duel ensued as the Federals sought to cross the bayou west of this point, and flank the Confederates. In the meantime, Walker was informed that his wagons had cleared the area and ordered his troops to withdraw. Union troops then crossed the bayou and burned the town. Union losses were one killed and 11 wounded. Five Confederates were killed and 25 taken prisoner.

(*The brigade contained the Eighth Wisconsin Infantry whose mascot was a bald eagle named "Old Abe".)

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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