American Defenders of Land, Sea & Sky
A Young Nation Divided
   The Civil War (1861-1865)

Port Hudson (Fort Desperate)
We battled for our beliefs.

Port Hudson (Fort Desperate)
Zachary, Louisiana

   Port Hudson was one of two Confederate strongholds that kept Union forces from controlling the lower Mississippi. The First and Third Regiments of the Louisiana Native Guards of Free Colored, comprised of free blacks and former slaves, took part in a Union assault on Fort Desperate on May 27, 1863.

  This was the first time in the Civil War that African Americans had seen major combat action. The bravery of the black troops at Port Hudson caused one white Union officer to proclaim, "The brigade of Negroes behaved magnificently and fought splendidly!" The Union attack was defeated, but the skill and courage of the black soldiers paved the way for the recruitment of many others who would fight for the Union and freedom. Today, you can see the remains of Fort Desperate from an elevated walkway.

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