Fort Desperate

 Sites Nearby (Union Batteries 7 & 8 - Union Assault)

(3-94) Southeast view of northeast corner from the observation tower. 1994 Port Hudson SCA Tour Guide: Determination and heroism aided by the natural terrain of Fort Desperate helped the Confederates maintain a strong defensive against Union troops. Official reports indicate that the area "Fort Desperate" was named by the Confederate soldiers who fought from within its stronghold. The name was probably coined to reflect the dire and hopeless situation in which these men found themselves. Some 292 officers and men under the command of Confederate Colonel Benjamin W. Johnson worked night and day under artillery and rifle fire to construct earthworks and secure Fort Desperate's three-quarter mile long front in preparation for the first general assault. A tower view from above the fort today shows the problems Union soldiers encountered during the siege. Due to the layout of the works, which formed a large "U" with its base facing toward the northeast, there was rarely a time when the Confederates were more than 150 yards from any point within their works. Confederate soldiers were able to concentrate on danger areas within a short time and assure that attacking troops received a maximum of small arms fire at virtually any point along the line. The courage, determination and extraordinary heroism on the part of Fort Desperate soldiers will long be remembered as a classic episode in Civil War history


(3-94) Southwest view of north wall near the observation tower

(3-94) South view of north wall near the observation tower

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