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This cache has been archived.

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Bailey's Dam Civil War Site

A cache by CDR2000 Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 08/28/2004
1.5 out of 5
1 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

You will find this cache along the South Bank of the Red River through a gate in the chain-link fence.

On the river about 800 feet downriver (to the right) of this cache is the historic location of Bailey’s Dam. Major General Nathaniel P Banks, Union commander of the Red River military expedition, found himself in a particularly tight situation in April of 1864. He had been defeated at the Battle of Mansfield while attempting to capture Shreveport, Louisiana, and now he was retreating down the Red River, harassed by Confederate troops at every turn. Throughout the campaign, the river's low water level had been a constant problem to his naval support of gunboats under the command of Rear Admiral David D. Porter. Now, Banks and Porter discovered that the river was so low that the gunboats were trapped above the rapids at Alexandria. To save the flotilla, Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Bailey suggested that the river could be dammed to raise the water level and f1oat the gunboats over the shallow rapids. Despite the doubts and jeers of many, Banks authorized Bailey to begin construction. Through the next two weeks, troops struggled to build the dam which eventually made it possible for the fleet to escape. After the fleet was safely below the rapids, Union forces torched Alexandria destroying the homes and livelihood of the civilian population. In 1976 the archaeological remains of Bailey's Dam were placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and through 1986, they could be seen at times of low water. However, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers constructed a modern lock and dam downstream of this historic site, and the Red River now covers all traces of Bailey's Dam. Recognizing the historical and archaeological importance of the dam, the Corps sponsored archaeological excavations there in 1984.

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Guebhtu gur Tngr.

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