This Week in the Civil War - 578

May 27, 2013

After encircling Confederate forces at Port Hudson, General Nathaniel Banks’ Union troops totaling approximately 13,000 in number on Tuesday, May 26, 1863 made a major assault on Port Hudson’s 4500 Confederates under the command of General Franklin Gardner.

In a disorganized attack which included some Negro troops, Union forces failed to breach the Confederate line, drawing close to the Confederate parapets before being repulsed but suffering some 1995 killed, wounded, or missing.  The Confederates suffered approximately 235 casualties.

Once again a superior attacking force was routed by a smaller number of defenders effectively utilizing the topography of a rolling, ravine-cut, heavily timbered area.  Union losses in this failed attack convinced Nathaniel Banks of the appropriateness of laying siege to Port Hudson in an attempt to starve out its Confederate defenders.