Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The surrender at Port Hudson, July 9, 1863

One hundred and fifty-one years ago today,  the rebel forces surrendered Port Hudson, Louisiana to the Union. Five days after the capitulation of Vicksburg, the capture of Port Hudson secured complete Union control of the Mississippi River.  My Great-great-great Grandfather Mathias J. Petry was present at the surrender. As a Lieutenant in the 173rd New York regiment, he saw the elephant, as Civil War soldiers referred to their first battle, at Port Hudson. According to his muster roll, he was assigned to brigade commander General Charles Jackson Paine's staff in May and June 1863. Following the surrender of Port Hudson, Mathias moved to the divisional staff. He returned to New York in August. Although his regiment remained in Louisiana, and later participated in the Red River campaign of Nathaniel Banks, it looks like Lieutenant Petry returned to New York, where he remained for most of the rest of the war on what his muster roll described as "detached service." He was honorably discharged in June 1865.

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