The Battle of Vermilion Bridge
It is 1860, and Abraham Lincoln was Just elected, the first Republican to win the White House. The Southern States had threatened secession if the Republicans won, and by the time Lincoln was inaugurated on March 4, 1861, seven states had left the Union.
The country's rift would extend through the states, towns and villages, and individual families. The President's wife had brothers who fought for the south, and others would face brothers and sons across the battle line. A powder keg waiting for something to light its fuse. On April 12, 1861, that fuse was lit as Union ships attempted to resupply Fort Sumter as South Carolina artillery pounded the redoubt. Others say a battery on Morris Island manned by Citadel Academy cadets fired the first shots of the American Civil War on January 9, 1861, on the U.S. steamer Star of the West. The country was plunged into a war no matter the date, leaving scars that still have not healed. The media of the day reported the great battle in Gettysburg, Bull run, but Louisana, under-reported in favor of the big battles, was not spared the suffering of that war.
The Battle of Vermillion Bridge was the third in a series of running battles between Union Major General Nathaniel Prentice Banks and Confederate Major General Richard Taylor, which took place at the Vermilion Bridge on Pinhook Street Lafayette. The name Pinhook is derived from the American Indian word for the crossing, Pinsahuk (meaning "linden" or "basswood tree"). On October 7, 1863. Retreating from battles in Bisland and Franklin, General Taylor crossed the Vermillion river and burned the wooden bridge behind him. The two opposing armies continued to exchange cannon and rifle fire for the next three days. Short on food and exhausted from almost continuous fighting, General Taylor fell back to 'Carrion Crow' Bayou, where General Green's cavalry brigade reinforced him. General Green then took command of operations and advanced on Lafayette. The Confederates skirmished with the Yankees on Oct. 8th, 9th, 1863, while General Banks' Army rebuilt the bridge. On October 10, 1863, the enemy advanced across the bayou. General Green fell back some eight miles and formed a battle line, having a battery of artillery in support. The enemy fell back to Vermilion. On November 2, they would fight again in the Battle of Bayou Bourbeau.
General Taylor's army was outnumbered, and this battle and other skirmishes served to slow the Union's advance towards Generals Banks' objective Alexandria, Louisiana.