By Nicole Tull
It was a cool Saturday morning, February 19, 2022, that the Mansfield State Historic Site presented “A Walk with a Soldier.” The volunteer reenactor conducting the program was Mr. John “Red” Turner from Dallas/Ft. Worth area. Turner began his talk by referencing the eventful day of Friday, April 8, 1864.
He explained to those in attendance what it would have been like to be on the battle grounds and to be a soldier. As a soldier you would have been marching about sixteen to eighteen miles a day wearing leather shoes that where like little boots.
15 Texas Troop was the group Turner talked about. This troop was made up of men and boys ranging in age from fifteen to forty-nine. There was about 300 men in the 15 Texas Troop. There was a total of about 8,800 Confederate troops.
As the soldiers arrived at Honey Cut Hill in Mansfield, LA, General Taylor started lining men up around noon but held the start of the battle until a later time. As the visitors made their way across the battlefield they walked where the soldiers actually walked and fought. It was at 4:00 PM that General Taylor gave the order to start the battle.
Once the battle began it became very loud and confusing as all the orders, guns, and artillery started. It was noted that some would say “it sounds like bees coming by.” The bullets coming out of the guns would make a spinning sound when it passed by.
The average gun being used by the soldiers would have been a .577 which is equal to a .58 caliber. From the records it said that this battle was fiercer than that of Shiloh. General Taylor led his men to victory as they pushed the Union south towards Pleasant Hill.