Web Author's Notes:
The last battle of Gen. Nathaniel Banks' Red River Campaign occurred at Yellow Bayou, Louisiana, several miles south of Marksville and about two miles north of the Atchafalaya River. Confederate General Richard Taylor, with a smaller but more aggressive army, had been harassing Gen. Banks' troops for several months, pushing Banks force, attempting to advance on and capture Shreveport, Louisiana, back down the Red River. On May 17, 1864, Banks' advance columns reached the Atchafalaya River where it halted while a pontoon bridge was built to allow the troops to cross. Gen. Taylor who had withdrawn to the west from Marksville, allowed Banks force to move south. Taylor then resumed his pursuit of Banks and appeared at Yellow Bayou. Banks knew he needed to stop Taylor and sent a force under Gen. Joseph Mower to intercept Taylor and protect the Union rear. The Battle of Yellow Bayou ensued and, although considered a stalemate overall, was successful in allowing Banks to finish the pontoon bridge over the Atchafalaya River and move his larger army out of harms way and back to the Mississippi River.
The 16th Ohio's role in the battle was as support for Gen. Mower's troops and it is not believed they were engaged in the primary battle. The regiment joined Mower on the battle line and guarded against any additional attack by the Confederates. Gen. Taylor knew he had lost his chance to do significant damage to Banks' army and did not pursue the retreating Federals any further.
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