The idea of building a town at the junction of
the Red River and the Texas Trail was thought to be foolish one,
since a huge, natural log jam, measuring approximately one hundred
eighty miles in length, prevented traffic on the Red River. It was
Captain Henry Miller Shreve, who commanded the US Army Corps of
Engineers, who cleared the huge log jam, making the Red River navigable
for the first time. The town of Shreveport came about in 1836 as
the result of the efforts of a company organized specifically for
the purpose of building a town in that location. The company and
the town would be named in Mister Shreves honor. It was called
Shreves Town. In time the river traffic showed up; it was
incorporated in 1839 as the city of Shreveport. The city became
a center of river commerce.
During the Civil War, Shreveport served as the
headquarters of the Trans-Mississippi Department of the Confederate
Army. Due to its remoteness from the eastern action, combat continued
in the Trans-Mississippi theater for several months after
the war officially ended. At the fall of the Confederacy, Jefferson
Davis (former president of the Confederate States of America) attempted
to flee to Shreveport. It was this action that makes Shreveport
the last capital of the Confederate States of America, though it
was only for a very short time!
Blues guitarist, singer and songwriter, Huddie
Ledbetter (aka Leadbelly) spent much of his time in Shreveport.
Louisiana Hayride was a very popular radio show
that featured many big names of its day (1948 to 1960), including
Hank Williams and a very young, Elvis Presley. Louisiana Hayride
was broadcast from Shreveport.
©Copyright Wilson Jay 200