While the spring of 1864 marked the launch of a Union overland campaign in Virginia, it also signified a Federal disaster in the West. For three long months, the North had tried to take control of the Red River in an attempt that would go down in history books as the Red River Campaign. Although the conflict pitted 30,000 Northern troops against an enemy at times only one third that size, the campaign was an utter failure. So why did the North want to occupy the Red River area?
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