Like many important battles, the Mansfield-Pleasant Hill engagement was actually a series of encounters taking place over several days. After a two-hour cavalry fight with Union forces near Wilson’s Farm on April 7, 1864, General Taylor elected to defend a site, about four miles south of Mansfield, now the location of the state commemorative area. General Hanks did not expect the Confederates to fight until he reached Shreveport, so the Union army became stretched out along the narrow road leading to Mansfield. This allowed Taylor to deal with his opponents on more equal terms since the Confederate troops were heavily outnumbered.
At 12 p.m. on April 8, the head of the disorganized Union army (5,700 troops) was confronted by the Confederate army (8,800 troops) in battle formation. The Union troops quickly formed a line of battle along a rail fence and a ridge known as Honeycutt Hill. On orders from Taylor, General Alfred Mouton’s Divisjon charged the rail fence. Mouton was killed leading the attack, but French born General C. J. Polignac, along with other Confederate forces, continued the attack and overwhelmed the Union line.
A fresh unit of 1,700 Union troops formed another line of battle about a mile south of the first. After a brief encounter, Taylor and the Confederates routed the Union forces, taking many prisoners and seizing guns, small arms and wagons abandoned by the fleeing soldiers.