Mansfield, Louisiana

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Mansfield is a city in and the parish seat of De Soto Parish, Louisiana, United States.[1] The population was 5,582 at the 2000 census. Mansfield is part of the ShreveportBossier City Metropolitan Statistical Area.



The Battle of Mansfield, a Confederate victory under General Richard Taylor (son of Zachary Taylor), was fought here on April 8, 1864. This battle turned 42,000 Union troops away from their conquest of the Louisiana Confederate capital, Shreveport, and sent them in retreat to New Orleans. The battle is commemorated at the Mansfield State Historic Site some four miles south of Mansfield off Louisiana Highway 175.

The first woman's college west of the Mississippi River, Mansfield Female College, was founded by the Methodist Church there in 1855. A two-year college, its first class graduated in 1856. Financial difficulties and the threat of war closed the college from 1860 to the end of the American Civil War, during which its buildings served as a hospital for soldiers wounded in the battle of Mansfield; it reopened in 1865. In 1930, Mansfield Female College merged with Centenary College of Louisiana in Shreveport and closed its doors permanently. In 2003, the Louisiana State Legislature moved to convert the main building of Mansfield Female College, the Lyceum, into a future museum.

The film The Great Debaters was partially shot in Mansfield and released on December 25, 2007. The story line involves a 1930s debate team from Marshall, Texas. The downtown scenes of Marshall, however, were actually shot on location in downtown Mansfield. The film stars Denzel Washington and Forest Whitaker and was nominated for a Golden Globe award in 2008.

Notable residents

O.C. Smith (Ocie Lee Smith) was born in Mansfield on June 21, 1932. He was an American singer, who performed with Count Basie's band from 1961 to 1965 and sang on the 1969 Grammy Award-winning recording of the song "Little Green Apples". Mansfield is the birthplace of major league baseball player Vida Blue (born Vida Rochelle Blue, Jr. on July 28, 1949) who was a left-handed starting pitcher. In a 17-year career, he played for the Oakland Athletics, San Francisco Giants, and Kansas City Royals. It is also the birthplace of Albert Lewis (born Albert Ray Lewis on October 6, 1960). Lewis made his professional debut in the NFL in 1983 with the Kansas City Chiefs. He played for the Kansas City Chiefs, Oakland Raiders, and Los Angeles Raiders over the course of his 16-year career.

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