The Longest Siege

Port Hudson, Louisiana, 1863


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About the Book

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.

About the Author(s)

Russell W. Blount, Jr., is the author of five books on the American Civil War. An Alabama native and former history teacher, he is involved in the Historic Mobile Preservation Society and the History Museum of Mobile. A member of the Society of Civil War Historians and the American Battlefield Trust, he is a frequent speaker at Civil War Roundtables, battlefield parks, museums and other historical forums.

Bibliographic Details

Russell W. Blount, Jr

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 195
Bibliographic Info: 37 photos, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8411-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4336-6
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Chapter One: Changes in Commands 7
Chapter Two: A Natural Stronghold 22
Chapter Three: “The Very Earth Trembled” 34
Chapter Four: “The Enemy Are Coming” 48
Chapter Five: A Miserable Loss 60
Chapter Six: “Death Was Always with Us” 76
Chapter Seven: “This Day of Blood” 94
Chapter Eight: Unspeakably Dreadful Days 107
Chapter Nine: The Whisky Charge 119
Chapter Ten: Submission 132
Epilogue 145
Appendix A. The Port Hudson Garrison: Organizations Paroled at Port Hudson, July 10, 1863 157
Appendix B. Organization of the Union Troops at Port Hudson (Nineteenth Army Corps), as of May 31, 1863, Major
General Nathaniel P. Banks, Commanding 159
Chapter Notes 163
Bibliography 175
Index 181