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Battle of Port Hudson
The Battle of Port Hudson 
Port Hudson was one of the most critical battles of the civil war, and was one of the most devastating losses of the confederacy. It was located high on the bluffs in an ideal location, overlooking a bend in the Mississippi River. It formed the southern end of the Confederate defenses of the Mississippi while Vicksburg, which was 150 miles north, was the northern end. The guns on these bluffs were well placed and posed a distinct threat to ships of the United States Navy, which had to navigate the river. Maintaining this control was crucial to the confederacy The battle to retain this location was long and hard and the confederate armies fought against tremendous odds. This defeat was the beginning of the downfall of the confederacy.

On May 23, 1863, Port Hudson was attacked by 30,000 Union troops under the command of Major General Nathaniel P. Banks. There were 6,800 confederates under the command of Major General Franklin Gardner. What followed was the longest battle and some of the bloodiest fighting of the civil war.

The vastly outnumbered confederates held their ground into July. When word of the Vicksburg defeat reached General Gardner he realized that the situation was hopeless and nothing could be gained by continuing the defense of Port Hudson. Surrender terms were negotiated, and on July 3, 1863, the Union Army entered Port Hudson. This was a final blow in a week of catastrophe for the confederacy and it would never recover. Officers were captured and taken prisoners. The enlisted men were paroled, and asked to sign an oath.

In 1974 the Port Hudson battlefield was designated as a National Historic Landmark. The visitor center now has a database containing the names of all the solders known to have been present for the battle of Port Hudson. I found my ancestor and some of his cousins:

Carter, A. E., Pvt. E 9th Louisiana Battalion
Carter, Addison S., Pvt. 41st Tennessee Infantry
Carter, B. J. Pvt., C 12th Arkansas Infantry
Carter, C. M. Sgt., A 41st Tennessee Infantry
Carter, C. L. Pvt., G 49th Alabama Infantry
Carter, David W., Pvt. B 1st Alabama Infantry
Carter, E. M., Pvt., K 12th Arkansas Infantry
Carter, Elijah, Pvt., I 16th Arkansas Infantry
Carter, G. W. Sgt., B. 10th Regiment Arkansas
Carter, George W., Lt. H 23rd Arkansas Infantry
Carter, H. Y. Pvt., K 39th Mississippi Infantry
Carter, Hannibal, Private I 4th Regiment Louisiana Volunteers
Carter, J. H., Pvt. Boones Louisiana Infantry
Carter, James C., Pvt. B 18th Arkansas Infantry
Carter, John E., Pvt. I 41st Tennessee Infantry
Carter, L. Pvt., 4th Regiment LA Volunteers
Carter, Thomas Pvt., C 1st Alabama Infantry
Carter, Thomas, Pvt. E 9th Louisiana Battalion
Carter, W. J. Pvt. C 12th Arkansas Infantry
Carter, William P. Pvt. B 1st Alabama Infantry

Port Hudson State Park
U. S. Civil War Center
The Civil War on The Mississippi