The Battle at the Vermilion Bayou

The First Battle of Vermillion bridge, On April 17, 1863, was the third of delaying actions by Generals Muton and Taylor against Union forces led by Major General Nathaniel Prentice Banks. General Taylor and Banks had led his confederate troops through battles at Fort Bisland, Franklin, and Irish bend. Arriving at Vermillionville, they crossed the bridge, at what we know as Pinhook street, and set it on fire.
Union units arrived on October 7, and the two sides exchanged rifles and cannons on the 8th 9th.

General Banks soldiers rebuilt the bridge when. General Taylor soldiers had little time to rest; they had not unsaddled their horse or removed their boots for five days and had been on the move almost continuously, and now short on food, they fell back to Carencro. There they rested and were reinforced by General Green. Once again, advancing on the bridge across the Vermilion River for a second time, Advancing engaged the Union forces. On October 9th and 10th, the Federals crossed built a pontoon bridge, and crossed the river, forcing the rebels to fall back eight miles and form a battle line with support from artillery. The Yankees fell back to the Vermillion to regroup and rearm. Commander Nathaniel P. Banks was so successful that Confederate Major General Richard Taylor retreated from the Teche region. Afterward, Banks captured the Confederate fort at Butte la Rose and Alexandria. The two sides would meet again on November 2 at the Bayou Bourbeaux.



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