Louisiana in the American Civil War

Louisiana In The American Civil War

Louisiana in the American Civil War

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Antebellum Louisiana was a leading slave state, where enslaved Africans and African Americans comprised the majority of the population through the eighteenth century. By 1860 47% of the population was enslaved. The state also had one of the largest free black populations in the United States. Much of the white population, particularly in the cities, supported states rights and slavery, while pockets of support for the Federal government existed in the more rural areas.

Louisiana seceded from the Union on January 26, 1861. New Orleans, Louisiana, the largest city in the entire South, was strategically important as a port city due to its location along the Mississippi River and its access to the Gulf of Mexico, and the United States War Department very early on planned on its capture. It was taken by Federal troops on April 25, 1862. Because a large part of the population had Union sympathies (or compatible commercial interests), the Federal government took the unusual step of designating the areas of Louisiana then under Federal control as a state within the Union, with its own elected representatives to the U.S. Congress. For the latter part of the war, both the Union and the Confederacy recognized their own distinct Louisiana governors.

Politics and strategy in Louisiana

On January 8, 1860, Louisiana Governor Thomas Overton Moore ordered the Louisiana militia to occupy the Federal arsenal at Baton Rouge and the Federal...
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