Portrait of Nathaniel P. Banks

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

Siege of Port Hudson Facts

May 21–July 9, 1863

Key facts about the Union Siege of Port Hudson.

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Also known as:

  • Battle of Port Hudson

Date:

  • May 21 – July 9, 1863

Location:

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

Campaign:

  • 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)

Result:

  • Union victory

Significance:

  • 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.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Siege of Port Hudson Facts
  • Coverage May 21–July 9, 1863
  • Author
  • Keywords siege of port hudson
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date July 31, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update March 3, 2021
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