Port Hudson State Historic Site
Port Hudson State Historic Site was the site of the first major use of African American troops in combat during the Civil War. In 1863, several regiments of the Louisiana Native Guards, locally recruited from ex-slaves and Free People of Color in the New Orleans area, served in the besieging Union army and participated in the bloody assaults against the Confederate defenses. This service proved a point of pride among African Americans in Louisiana and prompted the Union to begin enrolling even more black troops into their armies.
After the siege, the garrison at Port Hudson became a recruiting center for African American troops. Eventually, more than 180,000 African Americans enlisted to fight against slavery.
A small museum interprets the history of the site, and a series of walking trails along the ridges and ravines highlight important parts of the battlefield.
Listen to Voices from the Trail with storyteller Louis Gossett, Jr.