Tensas Parish, Louisiana

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Tensas Parish (French: Paroisse des Tensas) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. The seat of the parish is St. Joseph. In 2000, the population of Tensas Parish was 6,618; it is the least-populous of all sixty-four parishes.

The name Tensas is derived from the Taensa people.



Flowery Mound

Flowery Mound, a rectangular platform mound just east of St. Joseph, is believed to have been built at one time about 1000 A.D.. The corners are oriented in the cardinal direction. The mound measures 165 by 130 feet at the base and 50 by 30 feet at the 10-foot summit.[1]

Civil War

During the American Civil War, private citizens, particularly planters, organized, equipped, and transported military companies. In Tensas Parish, cotton planter A.C. Watson provided one company of artillery with more than $40,000.[2] In April 1862, Governor Thomas Overton Moore, reconciled to the fall of New Orleans, ordered the destruction of all cotton in those areas in danger of occupation by Union forces. Along the levees and atop Indian mounds in Tensas Parish, thousands of bales of cotton burned for days.[3] At the time, Tensas Parish was second only to Carroll Parish (subsequently divided into East and West Carroll) in the overall production of cotton in Louisiana.[4]

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