Key facts about the Union Siege of Port Hudson.
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.