Mansfield is a small city in, and the parish seat of, DeSoto Parish, Louisiana, United States. The population was 5,001 at the 2010 census, a decline of more than 10 percent from the 2000 tabulation. Mansfield is 77 percent African American. Mansfield is part of the Shreveport–Bossier 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.
In 1855 the first woman's college west of the Mississippi River, Mansfield Female College, founded by the Methodist Church, opened in Mansfield. 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.