The Trans-Mississippi Civil War Round Table was founded in 2001. We are simply a group of individuals with a genuine interest in the Civil War (or War Between the States), and membership is open to anyone. Generally, we meet once amonth and sprinkle in some guest speakers, field "demonstrations", battlefield tours, or any other activities deemed interesting by our members.
Tyler, Texas is located in what was known during the war as the "Trans-Mississippi Department". Geographically, it included Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, and modern day Oklahoma. Although historically the Trans-Mississippi is overshadowed by the many battles in the Eastern Theater, its importance greatly impacted the outcome of the war. In an effort to bring Texas, Louisiana and Arkansas back into the Union during 1864 (an election year), the Lincoln administration formulated a plan to occupy Shreveport, Louisiana, east Texas and south Arkansas. By conquering these vital areas, Lincoln's "Ten Percent" plan would enable each state to return to the Union as soon as ten percent of its voters affirmed their loyalty to the Union and its laws. This portion of the Ark-La-Tex housed strategic Confederate installations such as ordinance works and material manufacturers that were enabling this portion of the Confederacy to survive from their own resources. As a result, in early 1864, Shreveport became the goal of a multi-pronged approach from the Union Army, involving over 45,000 men who would converge from Little Rock, Vicksburg and New Orleans.
By capturing Shreveport, the door would be opened to South
Arkansas and east Texas, thus shutting down this extremely productive portion of the confederacy while shutting the door on any chance of foreign intervention (France) by way of Mexico. This, to be known as the "Red River"Campaign, was one of the more "famous" campaigns in the Trans-Mississippi, and resulted in the brutal but decisive battles in Mansfield/Pleasant Hill, Louisiana, Jenkins Ferry and Camden, Arkansas...to name but a few. Over the course of the war, the Trans-Mississippi hosted many more battles with a large cast, fed this and other theaters with heroic soldiers from Texas, Arkansas and Louisiana, and became the lifeblood
for a dying confederacy.