The Battle of Milliken's Bend
June 7, 1863 in Madison Parish , Louisiana
Union Forces Commanded by:
Col. Hermann Lieb
Confederate Forces Commanded by:
Brig. Gen. Henry E. McCulloch
**Missing and Captured
Conclusion: Union Victory
On June 6, Col. Hermann Lieb with the African Brigade and two companies of the 10th Illinois Cavalry made a reconnaissance toward Richmond, Louisiana. About 3 miles from Richmond, Lieb encountered enemy troops at the Tallulah railroad depot and drove them back but then retired, fearing that many more Confederates might be near. While retiring, a squad of Union cavalry appeared, fleeing from a force of Confederates. Lieb got his men into battle line and helped disperse the pursuing Confederates. He then retired to Milliken's Bend and informed his superior by courier of his actions. The 23rd Iowa Infantry and 2 gunboats came to his assistance.
Around 3:00 A.M. on the 7th, Confederates appeared in force and drove in the pickets. They continued their movement towards the Union left flank. The Union forces fired some volleys that caused the Confederate line to pause momentarily, but the Texans soon pushed on to the levee where they received orders to charge. In spite of receiving more volleys, the Confederates came on, and hand-to-hand combat ensued.
In this intense fighting, the Confederates succeeded in flanking the Union force and caused tremendous casualties with enfilade fire. The Union force fell bank to the river's bank. About that time Union gunboats Choctaw and Lexington appeared and fired upon the Confederates. The Confederates continued firing and began extending their right to envelop the Federals but failed in their objective. Fighting continued until noon when the Confederates withdrew. The Union pursued, firing many volleys, and the gunboats pounded the Confederates as they retreated to Walnut Bayou.