Category Archives: Louisiana

Book Review: The Half Has Never Been Told

The Half has Never Been Told: Slavery and the making of American capitalism, by Edward E. Baptist. New York: Basic Books, 2014. I can’t praise this book enough. Baptist has written one of the best history books I’ve ever read, … Continue reading

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June 29, 1864: Science!

The New York Times reports an “experiment” in using torpedoes to blow up a bar that had reduced the draft depth at one of the wharves. Any time you can blow stuff up, that’s the kind of science I can … Continue reading

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April 21, 1864: More bad news from the Red River

Edwin Stanton ******************************************** The extent of the blunder on the Red River is starting to become apparent, as Stanton and Grant learn that Sherman’s troops aren’t coming back anytime soon, and the low water has trapped the gunboats. Official Records: … Continue reading

Posted in Edwin M. Stanton, Louisiana, Nathaniel P. Banks, Red River Campaign, Ulysses S. Grant | Leave a comment

March 31, 1864: Douglass fair in New Orleans

The Richmond Daily Dispatch reports that New Orleanians are honoring Frederick Douglass for his abolition work. The one-paragraph item contains 7 sets of scare quotes, so the reader will understand that the Dispatch would never refer to Douglass as “illustrious” … Continue reading

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March 27, 1864: Banks’ black troops

Official Records: HEADQUARTERS DEPARTMENT OF THE GULF, Alexandria, March 27, 1864 ADJUTANT-GENERAL OF THE ARMY, Washington, D. C.: SIR: I have the honor to acknowledge the receipt of your communication of the 7th instant, relating to the organization of the … Continue reading

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March 18, 1864: Grant to Banks

Grant clarifies the plan for the Red River expedition. It’s important to take Shreveport — Grant says in order to reduce the number of troops required to hold the Mississippi — but it’s even more important to get Sherman’s detached … Continue reading

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March 15, 1864: Porter takes Fort DeRussy

Admiral Porter has the first success of the Red River campaign, taking the lower river stronghold of Fort DeRussy, near modern Marksville, LA. Official Records: MISSISSIPPI SQUADRON, FLAG-SHIP BLACK HAWK, Off Fort De Russy, March 15, 1864. Major General W. … Continue reading

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March 10, 1864: Red River Campaign off to an inauspicious start

Nathaniel P. Banks **************************************88 First of all, Sherman has sent a substantial force to the Red River to help Banks and Steele. He wants them back in no more than 30 days, so he can put them to work in … Continue reading

Posted in Arkansas, David Porter, Frederick Steele, Louisiana, Nathaniel P. Banks, Red River Campaign, Ulysses S. Grant, William Tecumseh Sherman | Leave a comment

February 13, 1864: Incident at Mardi Gras

An incident at a Mardi Gras ball, and a man charged with tearing down the United States flag. There were apparently quite a few Unionists around. [NEW ORLEANS] DAILY PICAYUNE, February 13, 1864, p. 4, c. 1 Two young men … Continue reading

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February 9, 1864: Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras Parade on Canal St., 1900 (best I could do) ********************************88 Mardi Gras was somewhat subdued in 1863, perhaps because it was rainy, and also perhaps due to the Union occupation of New Orleans. 1864 was considerably more festive. … Continue reading

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