Siege of Port Hudson Facts

May 21–July 9, 1863

Key facts about the Union Siege of Port Hudson.

General Nathaniel P. Banks, Civil War, USA, NA

Following the surrender of Port Hudson Union Major General Nathaniel Banks paroled all the Confederate enlisted men. [Wikimedia Commons]

Also known as:

  • Battle of Port Hudson


  • May 21 – July 9, 1863


  • East Baton Rouge Parish and East Feliciana Parish, Louisiana”


  • Port Hudson

Principal Union commander(s):

  • Major General Nathaniel P. Banks

Principal Confederate commander(s):

  • Major General Franklin Gardner

Union forces engaged:

  • 19th Army Corps,Army of the Gulf

Confederate forces engaged:

  • Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, Port Hudson

Number of Union soldiers engaged:

  • Roughly 30,000 – 40,000

Number of Confederate soldiers engaged:

  • Roughly 7,500

Estimated Union casualties:

  • 10,000 (5,000 killed and wounded, 5,000 died of disease)

Estimated Confederate casualties:

  • 7,500 (750 killed and wounded, 250 died of disease, 6,500 captured)


  • Union victory


  • Despite being outnumbered nearly four to one, on May 27, 1863, roughly 7,500 Confederate troops easily repulsed a Federal assault on Port Hudson, resulting in nearly 2,000 Union casualties compared to 235 Rebel losses.
  • The May 27, 1863 assault on Port Hudson marked the first time during the Civil War that black soldiers were called upon to perform in a meaningful combat situation.
  • On June 14, 1863, Union troops unsuccessfully stormed Port Hudson suffering 1,700 casualties, including 203 killed, compared to fewer than fifty Confederate casualties.
  • During the Union Siege of Port Hudson, Union soldiers were ill-provisioned, and they suffered immeasurably from the intense Louisiana summer heat. Thousands of Union soldiers were hospitalized due to heatstroke and exposure to tropical disease.
  • During the Union Siege of Port Hudson, Confederate soldiers were reduced to eating nearly anything they could get their hands on, including horses, mules, dogs, cats, and even rats.
  • On July 9, 1863 Major General Franklin Gardner surrendered the Confederate garrison at Port Hudson after receiving word that Rebel forces at Vicksburg had surrendered to Grant on July 4.
  • The Siege of Port Hudson lasted forty-eight days, making it the longest siege in American history.
  • Following the surrender of Port Hudson Union Major General Nathaniel Banks paroled all the Confederate enlisted men.
  • Coupled with Ulysses S. Grant’s success at Vicksburg, the subjugation of Port Hudson established Union control of the Mississippi River and split the Confederacy.