Louisiana Civil War Sesquicentennial Task Force Hosts Super Symposium March 14-16

Posted 02/22/2014

“Defending the Homeland: Union Forces Target Shreveport, Texas and Beyond” is the title of a symposium presented by the Louisiana Civil War Sesquicentennial Task Force of Lt. Governor Jay Dardenne.


“This is an event that only comes around once,” said Dr. Gary Joiner, chairman of the task force. “This symposium offers an opportunity to gain insight into the Red River Campaign and the often neglected Trans-Mississippi theater of the Civil War. This war that affected the entire nation and was a critical time in the history. I hope history buffs and others interested who want a better understanding of history here in our state will come and take advantage of this strong line-up of speakers.”

 The event will be held March 14 through 16 at the Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites in Bossier City and is sponsored by the Friends of the Mansfield Battlefield, North Louisiana Civil War Round Table, Red River Regional Studies Center at LSU in Shreveport and American Coin & Collectibles.  Registration forms and details are available at, with online registration at The symposium fee is $100, with a $35 registration available for full-time students with valid IDs.  Advance registration is required.

A Friday evening meet and greet with speakers, exhibitors and vendors will be followed by a day-long series of presentations offering insight into the war and times from historians with a special interest in the Trans Mississippi Theater of the war. Dr. Gary Joiner of LSU in Shreveport kicks off the session with  “Overview of the Red River Campaign,” followed by Dr. Jeff Prushankin of Millersville University in Pennsylvania’s presentation,  “Kirby Smith and Richard Taylor,” and Dr. Richard McCaslin of the University of North Texas covering “A Gallant and Desperate Charge: The 19th Texas Infantry in Louisiana.”  The afternoon session includes Scott Dearman, manager of the Mansfield State Historic Site, “Tactical View of the Battle of Pleasant Hill,” Mark Christ of the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, “Camden Campaign,” and Dr. Henry Robertson of Louisiana College, “the Union Hold at Pleasant Grove.”  The luncheon will feature a special “Visit from Miss Sidney Harding,” with local attorney and actress Anna Maria Sparke Keele portraying a southern belle whose family were refugees in north Louisiana in 1864.

The Sunday morning breakfast will feature Dr. Thomas Cutrer’s presentation, “Brothers in Gray.” The group will then proceed to the Mansfield State Historic Site for a custom tour of the battlefield and refreshments.  Local volunteers will provide transportation to the historic site for any visitors who fly into Shreveport from out-of-state. 

Vendors and exhibitors include Rich Self, Historical Documents of American and American Coin & collectibles; Jim Mundie, Jim Mundie Books; Chris Wright, The Wright Collection, and Chuck Parsons, author and bookseller.

Registration includes the programs, Friday evening hors d’oeuvres, Saturday lunch, Sunday breakfast, admission to the Mansfield State Historic Site and refreshments there. An optional box lunch from Logan Farms will be provided as an option but must be ordered in advance. The Hilton Garden Inn & Homewood Suites is offering a special symposium room rate for participants.