Steedman

Union losses at Port Hudson were increased by the poor judgement of Nathaniel Prentiss Banks (above). Earlier defeats in the Shenandoah Valley and at Cedar Mountain had apparently done little to abate the government's confidence in a man who was essentially a politician rather than a soldier.

Gardner sHQ

May 27,8 am: Two divisions under Brig. Gen. Godfrey Weitzel reach Confederate breastworks

9 am: Reinforcements from the center enable Confederates io repulse Weftzel's attack

It gives me pleasure to report that they answered every expectation. In many respects their conduct was heroic. No troops could be more determined or more daring."

10 am: In response to WeitzeFs failure to break the Confederate left, Brig. Gen, William Dwight, of Sherman's division, orders two regiments to attack the right

10 am: Elements of Graver's division the attack in support of Weitzel

A Union assault on the defenses of Port Hudson (below). Besides those lost in the futile attacks, the besiegers were further weakened by disease, dysentery and sunstroke - rife in the Port Hudson swamps.

Banks describing the actions of his African American troops.

10:30 am: Four regiments of Graver's division attack Fort Desperate

JsAA.

ADMIRAL FARRAGiTS FLEET

2:15pm: Sherman's division attacks Confederate breastworks, followed at 2:30 by Augur's division. Sherman is wounded

June 14,4 am: Faille's Federal division spearheads main attack around Priest Cap

- Q 4:15am: Dwight, now commanding Sherman's division, advances a short distance and (hen fells back

' g The Citadel: Bombarded from the river — by Farragut's ships. By the end of the siege, Federals had completed a tunnel under this redoubt

(To) J»1!' Gardner surrenders his garrison

I have to state that my duty requires me to defend this position, and therefore I decline to surrender."

Gardner in response to Banks's request that the garrison surrender.

2:15pm: Sherman's division attacks Confederate breastworks, followed at 2:30 by Augur's division. Sherman is wounded

June 14,4 am: Faille's Federal division spearheads main attack around Priest Cap

- Q 4:15am: Dwight, now commanding Sherman's division, advances a short distance and (hen fells back

' g The Citadel: Bombarded from the river — by Farragut's ships. By the end of the siege, Federals had completed a tunnel under this redoubt

(To) J»1!' Gardner surrenders his garrison

Gardner in response to Banks's request that the garrison surrender.

waiting for troops from the right to fill the gap. When the two Federal divisions finally advanced across Farmer Slaughter's field, the gap no longer existed. Not one Federal soldier reached the Confederate breastworks. Federal casualties included 600 African-Americans. These black soldiers had demonstrated that their willingness and ability to fight equaled that of white soldiers.

Unwilling to withdraw, Banks commenced siege operations. On June 13, after bombarding the Confederates for an hour, he demanded their surrender; Gardner refused. The bombardment resumed and Federal troops deployed for an attack the following morning. Paine's division would spearhead the main assault against Gardner's center, supported by diversionary attacks by Dwight's and Weitzel's divisions. Paine's and Weitzel's divisions advanced at 4 a.m., but Dwight's provided little assistance. The attack ended in a bloody repulse for Banks, who sustained 1,805 casualties to less than 200 for Gardner. The siege continued until Gardner learned of Vicksburg's capitulation, which eliminated the strategic importance of Port Hudson to the Confederacy. Gardner surrendered the garrison on July 9.

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