Monday, July 8, 2013

July 9, 1863 (Friday): Port Hudson Falls

General Frank Gardner

JULY 9, 1863.
    Port Hudson surrendered yesterday at 6 a.m. Our provisions were exhausted and it was impossible for us to cut our way out, on account of the proximity of the enemy's works.
    Our casualties during the siege are 200 killed and between 300 and 400 wounded. About 200 men have died from sickness. At the time of surrender,there were only 2,500 men for duty. I came out through the enemy's lines about an hour after the surrender, and tried to ascertain the strength of General Banks' army, but did not succeed; but from may own observation, I am led to believe his force to be 25,000 or 30,000 men.

    C. M. JACKSON,

    Acting Asst. Insp. General to Major General Frank. Gardner.

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 26, Part 1, Page 144.

The surrender of Port Hudson is usually overlooked due to the fall of Vicksburg on the 4th.  But it was another significant body of troops surrendered and another obstacle on the Mississippi removed.  With the surrender, the Mississippi truly once more flowed "unvexed to the sea."   Ironically, just as Vicksburg was surrendered by the Philadelphian Pemberton, Frank Gardner was a native of New York City.  Gardner was highly regarded by his troops, but sometimes is criticized for the conditions at Port Hudson during the siege.  If anything, soldiers there had even fewer supplies and rations than those in Vicksburg.

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