Port Hudson National Cemetery

Port Hudson National Cemetery (HM2DVG)

Location: Zachary, LA 70791 East Baton Rouge Parish
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Country: United States of America
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N 30° 39.65', W 91° 16.482'

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Fall of Port Hudson In May 1863, Union Gen. Nathaniel Banks landed 30,000 soldiers at Bayou Sara north of Port Hudson. A force of 7,500 men commanded by Confederate Gen. Franklin Gardner held the Mississippi River stronghold. General Banks' May 27 assault on Port Hudson failed and nearly 2,000 soldiers died. Among them were 600 men from two black regiments—the 1st and 3rd Louisiana Native Guards. The Port Hudson engagement was among the first opportunities for black soldiers to fight in the Civil War. Their determination proved to the North that they could and would ably serve the Union cause. Banks then launched a siege operation, building fortifications and bringing up more artillery. On June 14, he began pounding the Confederates. This second failed attack resulted in another 2,000 Union casualties. Banks continued the siege. Finally, on July 9 with the Confederate garrison reduced to eating mules and rats, Port Hudson surrendered. Over the 45-day siege Banks lost approximately 10,000 men, half from disease. The Union gained absolute control of the Mississippi River. National Cemetery
In August 1866, Lt. A. Rayburn chose this site for Port
Hudson National Cemetery. The 8-acre plot was already the
final resting place of Union soldiers who died fighting at Port
Hudson. The government paid $3,000

for the land.

Among those buried here are 256 men who served in the
United States Colored Troops (USCT). The first USCT
regiments were formed in March 1863, when the federal
government began actively recruiting black men for
the Union Army. USCT regiments fought in battles and
engagements from Virginia to Texas. Eight regiments were
engaged at Port Hudson.
By 1875, Port Hudson National Cemetery contained 3,804
graves, most marked as unknowns. Remains from elsewhere
in Louisiana, including Morganza village; the Carnes
Dunn''s, Haynes, Slaughters, and Wilson''s plantations;
and Methodist College in West Baton Rouge Parish were
reinterred here.Early improvements included a brick wall to enclose
the cemetery and two gun monuments at the entrance
road. In 1879, the Quartermaster Department built a brick
Second Empire-style lodge for the superintendent and
his family. Cast-iron plaques with stanzas from the poem
"Bivouac of the Dead" were installed in the 1880s. The
cemetery has expanded twice in the twentieth century
and now covers almost 20 acres.
Placed ByUS Department of Veterans Affairs, National Cemetery Administration
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Sunday, January 27th, 2019 at 7:01am PST -08:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15R E 665299 N 3393284
Decimal Degrees30.66083333, -91.27470000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 30° 39.65', W 91° 16.482'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds30° 39' 39" N, 91° 16' 28.92" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)225
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near LA-3113, Zachary LA 70791, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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