- Louisiana in the American Civil War
Strategically important as a port city due to its location along the
Mississippi Riverand its access to the Gulf of Mexico, the United States War Department very early on planned on the capture of New Orleans, the largest city in the entire South. AntebellumLouisiana was a leading slave state, where enslaved Africans and African Americans comprised the majority of the population through the eighteenth century. By 1860 47% of the population was enslaved. The state also had one of the largest free black populations in the United States. Much of the white population, particularly in the cities, supported states rightsand slavery, while pockets of support for the Federal government existed in the more rural areas.
Louisiana seceded from the Union on
January 26, 1861. New Orleans was captured by Federal troops on April 25, 1862. Because a large part of the population had Union sympathies (or compatible commercial interests), the Federal government took the unusual step of designating the areas of Louisiana then under Federal control as a state within the Union, with its own elected representatives to the U.S. Congress. For the latter part of the war, both the Union and the Confederacy recognized their own distinct Louisiana governors.
Notable Civil War leaders from Louisiana
A number of notable leaders were associated with Louisiana during the Civil War, including some of the Confederate army's senior ranking generals, as well as several men who led
brigades and divisions. Antebellum Louisiana residents P.G.T. Beauregard, Braxton Bragg, and Richard Taylor all commanded significant independent armies during the war. Taylor's forces were among the last active Confederate armies in the field when the war closed. Henry Watkins Allenled a brigade during the middle of the war before becoming the Confederate Governor of Louisiana from 1864–65. Randall L. Gibson, another competent brigade commander, was a postbellum U.S. Senator. Other brigadiers of note included Alfred Mouton(killed at the Battle of Mansfield), Harry T. Hays, Chatham Roberdeau Wheat (commander of the celebrated " Louisiana Tigers" of the Army of Northern Virginia), and Francis T. Nicholls(commander of the "Pelican Brigade" until he lost his left foot at Chancellorsville). St. John Lidell was a prominent brigade commander in the Army of Tennessee.
Henry Gray, a wealthy plantation owner from
Bienville Parish, was a brigadier general under Richard Taylor before being elected to the Second Confederate Congresslate in the war. Leroy A. Staffordwas among a handful of Louisiana generals to be killed during the war. Albert Gallatin Blanchardwas a rarity—a Confederate general born in Massachusetts.
Thomas Overton Moore, came held office from 1860 through early 1864. When war erupted, he unsuccessfully lobbied the Confederate government in Richmond for a strong defense of New Orleans. Two days before the city surrendered in April 1862, Moore and the legislature abandoned Baton Rouge as the state capital, relocating to Opelousas in May. Moore organized military resistance at the state level, ordered the burning of cotton, cessation of trade with the Union forces, and heavily recruited troops for the state militia.
Battles in Louisiana
Battle of Baton Rouge
Battle of Bayou Bourbeux(aka Grand Coteau) Battle of Blair's Landing Battle of Calcasieu Pass Battle of Donaldsonville I Battle of Donaldsonville II Battle of Fort Bisland Battle of Fort De Russy Battle of Forts Jackson and St. Philip Battle of Georgia Landing Battle of Goodrich's Landing Battle of Irish Bend Battle of Kock's Plantation Battle of LaFourche Crossing Battle of Mansfield(aka Sabine Cross-Roads) Battle of Mansura Battle of Milliken's Bend Battle of Monett's Ferry Battle of New Orleans (Civil War) Battle of Plains Store Battle of Pleasant Hill Battle of Port Hudson Battle of Stirling's Plantation Battle of Vermillion Bayou Battle of Yellow Bayou
* , linking to various articles on battles, people, and places related to Louisiana during the war years.
Louisiana Civil War Confederate Units, a list of Civil War units from Louisiana.
* [http://www.cr.nps.gov/hps/abpp/battles/LAmap.htm National Park Service map of Civil War sites in Louisiana]
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