The Red River is one of several rivers in the United States with the same name. This river is sometimes referred to as the Red River of the South to distinguish it from the Red River in the north that runs through Minnesota and North Dakota.
The Red River was named for the reddish colored sedimentary rocks common along its banks in its western reaches. Although the river is the largest in the southern Great Plains, it flows through few major cities. Shreveport, Louisiana and Wichita Falls, Texas are the two largest cities on its banks. The Red River is famous for its "Great Raft," a 160-mile log jam on the Louisiana portion of the river that took nearly 40 years to clear between 1830 and 1870. Scientists believe the logjam originated in the 12th or 13th century! In fact, Shreveport was named after river captain Henry Miller Shreve who helped to remove the logjam and settle the city.