Address:
236 Hwy. 61
Jackson, LA 70748

Coordinates:
29.55341, -91.26935
Hours of Operation:
Wednesday through Sunday
  • open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
  • closed Thanksgiving, Christmas & New Year's Day

Entrance Fees
  • $4 per person
  • Free for senior citizen (62 and older)
  • Free to children 3 and under

Facilities and Activities
  • Daily Tours (Groups are asked to call in advance)
  • Museum / Historic Buildings
  • Picnic Areas
  • Historic and/or Nature Programs
  • Hiking Trails
please call the site before your visit to verify the above items are available on the day of your visit
Phone:
225-654-37751-888-677-3400

Email:
porthudson@crt.la.gov

Port Hudson Historic Site on Facebook

Port Hudson State Historic Site sign

When New Orleans fell to Federal troops in late April 1862, Confederate control of the Mississippi was in jeopardy. The Confederate army had already fortified the river bluffs at Vicksburg, Mississippi, but it needed another series of river batteries below the mouth of the Red River. The Red River was the primary route for the shipment of supplies from Texas to the heartland of the Confederacy. ↓ show more

The bluffs near the small town of Port Hudson represented a perfect site for the river batteries. These bluffs were the first high ground upstream from Baton Rouge and overlooked a severe bend in the river. This bend presented an additional obstacle for Union warships.

The siege of Port Hudson began on May 23, 1863. Roughly 30,000 Union troops, under the command of Major General Nathaniel P. Banks, were pitted against 6,800 Confederates, under the command of Major General Franklin Gardner. The ensuing battles constituted some of the bloodiest and most severe fighting in the entire Civil War.

As the siege continued, the Confederates nearly exhausted their ammunition and were reduced to eating mules, horses and rats. When word reached Gardner that Vicksburg had surrendered, he realized that his situation was hopeless and nothing could be gained by continuing the defense of Port Hudson. Surrender terms were negotiated, and on July 9, 1863, after 48 days and thousands of casualties, the Union army entered Port Hudson. The siege became the longest in American military history.

Prior to one of the most intense attacks by the Union soldiers, on May 27, a bold experiment was decided upon. Two African-American regiments were chosen to participate in the fight. The First and Third Louisiana Native Guards proved their worth by pressing an attack against a well-fortified Confederate position. After the siege, the garrison at Port Hudson became a recruiting center for African-American troops.

In 1974, the Port Hudson battlefield was designated a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior. It joined a select group of properties which have been recognized for their importance in American History. Port Hudson State Historic Site hosts several living history events, including the Battle of Port Hudson re-enactment held annually during the last full weekend of March. Visitors can watch authentically costumed interpreters demonstrate Civil War weapons and equipment.

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Upcoming Events


Hiking

Trails at Port Hudson State Historic Site
Other Attractions:


Birding

A Birder's Guide to Louisiana gives directions to over 100 areas for birding throughout the state, includes maps, Louisiana specialties, and contains beautiful photography and checklists of Louisiana birds and other wildlife. The Guide was produced through a partnership between the Atchafalaya National Heritage Area and the American Birding Association.
©2018 Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism