Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Port Hudson Surrounded

The advance on Port Hudson
The only point that the Confederates held on the Mississippi River other than Vicksburg, on which Grant was closing, was Port Hudson to the south. But 150 years ago this other bastion was surrounded. The Union army under Nathaniel Banks had moved inland from the river, and now cut off Port Hudson from the rear. He thought he could quickly subdue the garrison under Maj. Gen. Franklin Gardner, and then more north to help Grant capture Vicksburg. As the Yankees advanced they met opposition from a small Confederate detachment under Colonel W. R. Miles. In what was called the Battle of Plains Store, the outnumbered reels gave a good account of themselves. They brought the Federals to a halt, and engaged them for six hours. Finally outnumbered and running out of ammunition, Miles fell back to the Confederate lines. Many of their artillery horses had been killed, so they pulled the guns off by hand, refusing to let them be captured. Port Hudson would put up a better resistance than Banks expected.


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