With Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks' Union army about 150 miles up the Red River. Maj. Gen. Richard Taylor, took it upon himself to strike a blow at the Federals and curb their advance on Shreveport. He established a defensive position just below Mansfield, near Sabine Cross-Roads, an important communications center. On April 8, Banks’s men approached, driving Confederate cavalry before them. For the rest of the morning, the Federals probed the Rebel lines. In late afternoon, Taylor, though outnumbered, decided to attack. His men made a determined assault on both flanks, rolling up one and then another of Banks’s divisions. Finally, about three miles from the original contact, a third Union division met Taylor’s attack at 6:00 pm and halted it after more than an hour's fighting. That night, Taylor unsuccessfully attempted to turn Banks’s right flank. Banks withdrew but met Taylor again on the 9th at Pleasant Hill. Mansfield was the decisive battle of the Red River Campaign, influencing Banks to retreat back toward Alexandria.