Here are a couple of notes from the diary of Felix Poche' of the Commissary Dept. in the Trans- Miss. Dept. as he passed through Winnfield and Winn Parish during the war.
"Tuesday Dec.22, 1863. We were again on the road all day, camped at 6 o'clock P.M. on Bayou Dugdemonia 4 1/2 miles from Winnfield, the seat of Justice of Winn Parish, an ugly little town of about six or seven ugly houses and two or three stores." This first passage was on the march from Alexandria to Monroe, La. On the return trip he notes. "Saturday Feb.5, 1864. Continuing our march always through this atrocious country and monotonous pine forest, we today crossed Bayou Dugdemonia, passed through Winfield where is located the courthouse of that "terrible" Winn Parish, three stores, a hotel housed in a miserable log cabin, "log on log" in pioneer fashion, a blacksmith's forge and some other miserable buildings of the same type. The courthouse is an old dilapidated residence, old and ugly, the jail, for example, is a veritable fortress, being a log edifice of ten or twelve feet square. The unfortunate who finds himself incarcerated must fear that his stay on this earth will be shortly ended. In truth, any intelligent man would have to be driven from every civilized spot to decide to live in such a place as Winn Parish or in the neighborhood of Winfield. The people are in keeping with the country and show little advancement or learning." Looks like Poche' didn't think too much of the area at the time he passed through it. Many places in La. probably looked like this at the time.