• Visitor Center, housing exhibits and a meeting room

    The site’s visitor center, housing exhibits and a meeting room facility

  • 1864 Harper's Weekly sketch

    A sketch accompanying an 1864 Harper’s Weekly article about the Red River Campaign

  • Red River Campaign timeline

    Exhibit on the timeline of the Red River Campaign of the Civil War

  • Exhibits of the museum

    Visitors can learn about the Campaign, and other aspects of the soldiers’ daily lives

  • Boardwalk along the earthworks

    Part of the boardwalk that takes visitors around the earthworks that made up the forts

135 Riverfront Street
Pineville, LA 71360

31.324121, -92.449045
Hours of Operation:
Wednesday through Sunday
  • open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year's Day

Entrance Fees
  • $4 per person
  • Free for senior citizens (62 and older)
  • Free for children 3 and under

Facilities and Activities
  • Daily Tours (Groups are asked to call in advance)
  • Museum / Historic Buildings
  • Picnic Areas
  • Historic and/or Nature Programs
  • Hiking Trails
please call the site before your visit to verify the above items are available on the day of your visit


Forts Randolph & Buhlow State State Historic Site on Facebook

Forts Randolph & Buhlow State Historic Site sign

After the Battle of Mansfield, halting the Union advance to the West in Spring of 1864, Forts Randolph and Buhlow were constructed on the Red River at Alexandria by Confederates in order to repel future Union attacks through Northwest Louisiana. Construction, completed by March 1865, was under the command of Cpt. Christopher M. Randolph and supervised by a military engineer, Lt. Alphonse Buhlow, for whom the forts are named. A third and larger fort, planned for the Alexandria side of the river, was never built. ↓ show more

The earthen forts, constructed using local plantation slave labor, were fortified with cannon and over 800 soldiers. In addition to a Confederate troop buildup in the Alexandria area, the Confederate ironclad Missouri was anchored in the river opposite Fort Randolph, but the anticipated attack never came and no fighting over took place. In May of 1865, the Confederates surrendered to Union forces, and the forts where occupied for a short while by the Union before being abandoned at the end of the war.

Forts Randolph & Buhlow State Historic Site also includes the remains of Bailey’s Dam. Bailey’s Dam, remarkable for its design and the amount of time required in constructing it, allowed for the Union Fleet, under the command of Admiral David Porter, to escape below the rapids on the Red River at Alexandria during the Union retreat after the battle of Mansfield. Called “one of the greatest engineering feats of the Civil War,” The dam designed by Colonel Joseph Bailey has left a lasting mark on the history of the region. The site is today commemorated with interpretive signage and a scenic overlook of the Red River.

Located on Red River in downtown Pineville, the site includes a visitor center with exhibits on the Civil War Red River Campaign, an elevated boardwalk around the fort area, with an overlook near Bailey's Dam site, and an open field for Civil War re-enactments. Forts Randolph & Buhlow were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1981.

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Upcoming Events

While programs are being offered, we do ask that you remember social distancing practices and CDC recommendations for being in public settings. For the safety of our guests and staff, tour groups will be kept to 9 visitors; this allows to keep groups – including the tour guide – to the recommendation size of 10 or fewer.


Trails at Forts Randolph & Buhlow State Historic Site
  • Boardwalk Trail A -- 1/4 mile
  • Boardwalk Trail B -- 1/4 mile
  • Trail between forts -- 1/4 mile

On-site Activities:


A Birder's Guide to Louisiana gives directions to over 100 areas for birding throughout the state, includes maps, Louisiana specialties, and contains beautiful photography and checklists of Louisiana birds and other wildlife. The Guide was produced through a partnership between the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area and the American Birding Association.
©2020 Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism