Fort St. Philip
Civil War Louisiana
American Civil War
April 16-28, 1862
Early Union plans had called for the division of the Confederacy by seizing control of the Mississippi River. One of the first steps in such operations was to enter the mouth of the Mississippi River, ascend to New Orleans and capture the city, closing off the entrance to Rebel ships.
In mid-January 1862, Flag-Officer David G. Farragut undertook this enterprise with his West Gulf Blockading Squadron. The way was soon open except for the two forts, Jackson and St. Philip, above the Head of the Passes, approximately seventy miles below New Orleans.
In addition to the forts and their armament, the Confederates had placed obstructions in the river and there were a number of ships, including two ironclads, to assist in the defense.
Farragut based his operations from Ship Island, Mississippi, and on April 8, he assembled 24 of his vessels and Comdr. David D. Porter's 19 mortar schooners near the Head of the Passes.
Starting on the 16th and continuing for seven days, the mortar schooners bombarded Fort Jackson but failed to silence its guns. Some of Farragut's gunboats opened a way through the obstruction on the night of the 22nd.
Early on the morning of the 24th, Farragut sent his ships north to pass the forts and head for New Orleans. Although the Rebels attempted to stop the Union ships in various ways, most of the force successfully passed the forts and continued on to New Orleans where Farragut accepted the city's surrender.
With the passage of the forts, nothing could stop the Union forces: the fall of New Orleans was inevitable and anti-climatic. Cut off and surrounded, the garrisons of the two forts surrendered on the 28th.
Result(s): Union victory
Location: Plaquemines Parish
Campaign: Expedition to and Capture of New Orleans (1862) next battle in campaign Campaigns
Date(s): April 16-28, 1862
Principal Commanders: Flag-Officer David G. Farragut [US]; Brigadier General Johnson K. Duncan and Cdr. John K. Mitchell [CS]
Forces Engaged: West Gulf Blockading Squadron [US]; Garrisons of Forts Jackson and St. Philip and the crews of various ships [CS]
Estimated Casualties: 1,011 total (US 229; CS 782)
Mutiny at Fort Jackson:
The Untold Story of the Fall of New Orleans
Soldiers primarily recruited from large German and Irish populations. The Confederacy had done nothing to encourage poor white men to feel they had a place of honor in the southern republic. The mutineers actively sought to help the Union cause. Benjamin "Beast" Butler enjoyed the support of
many white Unionists in New Orleans .
The Night the War Was Lost
With the fall of the critical city of New Orleans
in spring 1862 the South lost the Civil War, although fighting would continue for three more years. On the Mississippi River, below New Orleans, in the predawn of April 24, 1862, David Farragut with fourteen gunboats ran past two forts to capture the South's principal seaport.
Confederate Blockade Runner 1861-65
The blockade runners of the Civil War usually began life as regular fast steam-powered merchant ships. They were
adapted for the high-speed dashes through the Union blockade which closed off all the major Southern ports, and for much of the war they brought much-needed food, clothing and weaponry to the Confederacy
Union River Ironclad
At the start of the American Civil War, neither side had warships on the Mississippi River. In what would prove the vital naval campaign of the war, both sides fought for control of the river. While the Confederates relied on field fortifications and small gunboats, the Union built a series of revolutionary river ironclads
Passage of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, April 24, 1862. Order of Attack
Chart showing the positions of U.S. Navy ships during the action (with individual ships identified, with their commanders), and of Confederate defenses ashore and afloat.
"Reconnoissance of Forts Jackson and St. Philip, on the Mississippi, by Gun-boats from Flag-officer Farragut's Squadron"
Line engraving published in "Harper's Weekly", 1862, depicting the attack on the obstructions below the forts, 20 April 1862.
U.S. Navy gunboats
shown in right center are Itasca and Pinola . Further to the right are Kennebec and Winona . Fort Jackson is shown at far right, with Confederate gunboats beyond.
More on the Naval Battle at Fort Jackson
Civil War Soldier 102 Piece Playset
- 25 Union and 25 Confederate Soldier Figures, 18 Horses, 10 Cannon
- 2 Covered Wagons, 2 Tents, 2 Canoes, 2 Flags, 16 Fences
- Size: Figures Stand up to 2-1/8 inches tall
- Scale: 1/32nd, Wagons and Horses slightly smaller
Civil War A Nation
Rally the troops and organize a counterattack -- Your strategic decision and talent as a commander will decide if the Union is preserved or if Dixie wins its independence
Life in Mr. Lincoln's Navy
A tantalizing glimpse into the hardships endured by the naval
leadership to build and recruit a fighting force. The seaman endured periods of boredom, punctuated by happy social times and terrifying bouts of battle horror
American Civil War Fortifications
Coastal Brick and Stone Forts
The design, construction and operational history of fortifications, such as Fort Sumter, Fort Morgan and Fort Pulaski. Stone and brick forts stretched from New England to the Florida Keys, and as far as the Mississippi River. A handful of key sites remained in Union hands throughout the war, the remainder had to be won back through
bombardment or assault.
Confederate Ironclad 1861-65
Every aspect of Confederate ironclads is covered:
design, construction, armor, armament, life on board, strategy, tactics, and actual combat actions.
Battle on the Bay:
The Civil War Struggle for Galveston
Civil War history of Galveston is one of the last untold stories from America's bloodiest war, despite the fact that Galveston was a focal point of hostilities throughout the conflict. Galveston emerged as one of the Confederacy's only lifelines to the outside world.
The H. L. Hunley
The Secret Hope of the Confederacy
On the evening of February 17, 1864, the
Confederacy H. L. Hunley
sank the USS Housatonic
and became the first submarine in world history to sink an enemy ship. Not until World War I "half a century later” would a submarine again accomplish such a feat. But also perishing that moonlit night, vanishing beneath the cold Atlantic waters off Charleston, South Carolina, was the Hunley
entire crew of eight
Confederate Blockade Runner 1861-65
The blockade runners of the Civil War usually
began life as regular fast steam-powered merchant ships. They were adapted for the high-speed dashes through the Union blockade which closed off all the major Southern ports, and for much of the war they brought much-needed food, clothing and weaponry to the Confederacy
Union Monitor 1861-65
The first seagoing ironclad was the USS Monitor, and its profile has
made it one of the most easily recognised warships of all time. Following her inconclusive battle with the Confederate ironclad Virginia on March 9, 1862, the production of Union monitors was accelerated. By the end of the year a powerful squadron of monitor vessels protected the blockading squadrons off the Southern coastline, and were able to challenge Confederate control of her ports and
Confederate Submarines and Torpedo Vessels 1861-65
information and many excellent illustrations. It addresses the CSA David class torpedo boats and the Hunley (and its predecessors), as well as Union examples such as the Alligator and the Spuyten Duyvil
U.S. National Park Service
U.S. Library of Congress.
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