Civil War Baton Rouge, Port Hudson and Bayou Sara: Capturing the Mississippi
When Louisiana seceded from the Union on January 26, 1861, no one doubted that a battle to control the Mississippi River was imminent. Throughout the war, the Federals pushed their way up the river. Every port and city seemed to fall against the force of the Union navy. �The capital was forced to retreat from Baton Rouge to Shreveport. Many of the smaller towns, like Bayou Sara and Donaldsonville, were nearly shelled completely off the map. It was not until the Union reached Port Hudson that the Confederates had a fighting chance to keep control of the mighty Mississippi.