Port Hudson National Cemetery - Zachary, Louisiana
Port Hudson National Cemetery - Zachary, Louisiana
Port Hudson National Cemetery
Located on the Port Hudson battlefield in Louisiana,
the Port Hudson National Cemetery is a resting
place for thousands of American veterans.
Port Hudson Nat. Cemetery
Many of the dead buried at the
cemetery are unknown Union
soldiers from the Siege &
Battle of Port Hudson.
From Slave to Soldier...
Because Louisiana was a
major recruiting ground for
black soldiers during the Civil
War, the graves of many can
be seen at Port Hudson.
The Cost of War
Port Hudson was an active
U.S. Army post from the time
of its capture in 1863 until
Port Hudson National Cemetery - Zachary, Louisiana
Memories of War and Battle
Grave of Pvt. Buck Scott
A former slave, Scott became
a soldier in Company H, 84th
U.S.C.T.  His name is # C-90
on the African American Civil
War Memorial.
Copyright 2011 & 2013 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Updated: July 7, 2013
Port Hudson National Cemetery provides a
quiet resting place for thousands of veterans,
many of them Union soldiers who fell from
battle wounds or disease during the
and Battle of Port Hudson in 1863.

Located in the Louisiana countryside near
Zachary (about 20 miles north of Baton
Rouge), the cemetery was established in
1866 to provide perpetual care for the graves
of Union soldiers who fell at Port Hudson or
in the surrounding area. It remains an active
cemetery today, with burials dating from the
Civil War through the conflicts in the Middle

Port Hudson National Cemetery is located in
East Baton Rouge Parish about one mile
east of the old steamboat landing of Port
Hickey. The grounds are part of the Port
Hudson battlefield and were included in the
National Historic Landmark designation
given to the area in 1974.

Use of the site as a cemetery began during
the Siege and Battle of Port Hudson. On May
27, 1863, the fifth day of the Civil War siege,
Union troops tried to storm the earthwork
fortifications surrounding Port Hudson. They
were hurled back time after time in a bloody
all-day fight. When the smoke cleared, the
Federals were able to count 1,995 killed and
wounded. The Confederates had lost only

The Union dead were initially piled into
trenches and covered over. A cemetery was
established, however, to bury the mortally
wounded as they died. Thus began Port
Hudson National Cemetery, a burial ground
established on an active battlefield within
sight of the fortifications that Union forces
had tried to storm.

Roughly two weeks after the first attempt to
storm Port Hudson, the Union army tried
again. Casualties were just as bad the
second time. The Federals lost 1,792 killed
and wounded, the Confederates only 47.

The siege continued until July 9, when the
Southern forces surrendered after learning of
the fall of Vicksburg, Mississippi, and
realizing that there was no further purpose in
holding out at Port Hudson. Union troops
occupied the fortifications, which were used
as a major recruiting and training post for
African American soldiers entering the U.S.
Colored Troops. Port Hudson remained an
active U.S. military post until 1866.

During the battle and Port Hudson's years as
a recruiting center, the cemetery grew
dramatically and by the time it became a
national cemetery in 1866, there were
already thousands of burials.
Because Port Hudson played a critical role in
the history of African American troops in the
Civil War, it is an excellent place to explore
the names and memories of many African
American men who went from slave to
soldier, ultimately giving the final sacrifice in
the service of their country.

The 1st and 3rd Louisiana Native Guards
carried out a valiant attack during the May
27th assault and suffered many casualties.
The dead from their attack are buried at Port
Hudson National Cemetery, as are many
other soldiers from regiments of U.S.
Colored Troops stationed at Port Hudson
during the last two years of the war.

Sadly, only 600 of the thousands of Union
soldiers buried at the cemetery during the
Civil War are identified. An impressive
number of these, however, have U.S.C.T.
carved into their tombstones to signify that
they served in African American regiments.

They lie side by side with servicemen and
women of all races who served their country
from the Civil War to today.

Port Hudson National Cemetery is located at
20978 Port Hickey Road near Zachary,
Louisiana. The grounds are open Monday
through Friday from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. There
is no cost to visit.
Please click here to visit the
cemetery's official site for more information.
Civil War Sites of Interest