The Longest Siege: Port Hudson, Louisiana, 1863
Russell W. Blount, Jr.
During the Civil War, control of the Mississippi River was hotly contested by both the Union and Confederate armies. By late 1862, the South held only a 110–mile stretch of this vital waterway. Determined to defend this critical span, the Confederacy built two fortresses to defend it—Vicksburg on the north end, Port Hudson on the south. Drawing on the letters and memoirs of soldiers and officers on both sides, this book chronicles the brutal struggle for Port Hudson, Louisiana, beginning with Admiral Farragut’s costly naval attack by the Union fleet, through the furious infantry assaults ordered by General Nathaniel Banks—including the first charge made by black troops in the Civil War—and finally to the 48–day siege itself. Among the most tragic campaigns of the war, it is recognized by historians as the longest siege in American military history.