RED RIVER CAMPAIGN. The Red River campaign of March to May 1864 occurred during the Civil War after the fall of Vicksburg and Port Hudson. At that time President Abraham Lincoln authorized a campaign against Shreveport, Louisiana, then the temporary capital of Confederate Louisiana. It was a major supply depot and a gateway to Texas. Though the operation was opposed by generals Ulysses S. Grant, William T. Sherman, and Nathaniel P. Banks, it was favored by General in Chief Henry W. Halleck. Banks was commander of the Department of the Gulf and was engaged in operations against the Confederacy along the Texas Gulf Coast. Under some pressure from Halleck, Banks concentrated his forces on a campaign to secure the area along the Red River to Shreveport. Objectives for this campaign included preventing a Confederate alliance with the French in Mexico; denying southern supplies to Confederate forces; and securing vast quantities of Louisiana and Texas cotton for northern mills.