On July 8, 1863 when news of Vicksburg’s surrender reached Port Hudson, Louisiana, the last Confederate garrison on the Mississippi, Confederate General Franklin Gardner realized that further resistance was futile and, after receiving terms from Union General Nathaniel Banks, surrendered unconditionally his force of approximately 7000 Confederate troops.
Port Hudson had endured six weeks of siege, and Gardner knew that the fall of Vicksburg doomed his command. With Port Hudson’s capitulation, the entirety of the Mississippi River was in Union hands, although portions would remain in the future vulnerable to guerilla attacks.
After essentially twenty-eight months of fighting, the North had now forcibly bisected the Southern Confederacy. From this point on in the American Civil War, the question would be “How long could the Confederacy—a “house divided”—remain in rebellion?”