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00000174-b11b-ddc3-a1fc-bfdbb1a20000The Schreiner University Department of History is honoring the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with a series of short vignettes focusing on events from 1861 through 1865. The Civil War was the most destructive conflict in American history, but it was also one of our most defining moments as a people and as a nation. Let us know what you think about "This Week in the Civil War." E-mail your comments to Dr. John Huddleston at jhuddles@schreiner.edu.Airs: Weekdays at 5:19 a.m., 8:19 a.m., 4:19 p.m. on KTXI and 4:49 a.m., 9:29 p.m. on KSTX.

This Week in the Civil War - 574

With Ulysses Grant’s Federals at the gates of Vicksburg, on May 21, 1863 Union forces under General Nathaniel Banks moved out of Baton Rouge and Alexandria, Louisiana and headed toward Confederate held Port Hudson on the Mississippi River. 

Except for Vicksburg, Port Hudson was the remaining Confederate defense on the Mississippi River.  Like Vicksburg, it had to be held at all costs to prevent the Confederacy from being bisected at the Mississippi River. 

Banks’ forces engaged the Confederates in a minor action on the west side of the Mississippi at Plains Store near Bayou Sara.  Although not apparent at the time, Banks’ movements would subsequently result in an approximate fifty day siege of Port Hudson.  After Vicksburg’s surrender in July to Ulysses Grant, Port Hudson would also capitulate to the Federals.