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“Closed on Sundays”

Port Hudson State Historic Site
Ranked #1 of 2 things to do in Jackson
Attraction details
Louisiana
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Closed on Sundays”
Reviewed November 24, 2013 via mobile

Drove 2 1/2 hrs to see this site. Apparently they are closed Sunday & Mondays when their website says Mondays & Tuesdays.

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3 Thank mswissa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    18
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    3
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    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Austin, Texas
Level Contributor
145 reviews
80 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“Learned something new!”
Reviewed October 31, 2013

I was a history major with a concentration in the American South. Most of my history classes in college were about the Civil War but I STILL had no idea that this place existed.My husband started researching his family ancestry and discovered that some of his relatives fought here so on a recent trip to the area we decided to stop by and check it out. The visitors center has a really nice museum and well detailed history of the siege here. We even saw the actual flag that my husband's ancestors fought under. I knew a lot about the siege at Vicksburg but I never knew about Port Hudson. It turns out that it was a pretty important place and the siege here lasted longer than the one at Vicksburg. The museum is very well done - a short video and a walk through it and I felt like I learned a lot about what happened here.

Outside the museum there are several trails to walk on that take you past the earthworks that were dug during the siege. I've visited a lot of Civil War battlefields and these are some of the most well preserved earthworks I've ever seen.

The only reason I gave 4 stars instead of 5 is because the trails aren't well marked. There are maps here and there but there were several places where we reached an intersection and didn't know which way to go. I know state parks don't have as much funding as national parks but some better signage would make it a better place.

I wish that more people knew that Port Hudson existed. It's a piece of American history that seems to be mostly forgotten or ignored. If you're in the area it is definitely a place to see, especially if you are on your way to Vicksburg.

Visited October 2013
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3 Thank Brooklet425
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Windermere, Florida
Level Contributor
707 reviews
300 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 641 helpful votes
“Unknown Civil War battlefield”
Reviewed October 20, 2013

I visited the Port Hudson State Historical Site after passing it on HWY 61. The site was the location of the longest siege operation during the American Civil War. The battlefield is located outside of Baton Rouge along the banks of the Mississippi River (or at least it was back then). There is a small Visitor's Center and approximately 6 miles of trails and earthworks to explore.

While at the Visitor's Center, make sure to check out the short video. It gives you a history of the battle and gives you an insight of what it was like before you begin your hike outside. There is also a small museum with exhibits about Port Hudson and the Civil War in Louisiana. There is a video about the Union's failed naval attack against the fort which led to the siege. With the other interactive exhibits and artifacts, you get a clear picture of the battle. You even have the option to input your full name into a computer which prints out a certificate certifying you as a veteran of the Port Hudson State Commemorative Area. The certificate also prints out the names, if any, of soldiers who participated in the battle on either side with your last name.

The hiking trails will take you to key areas of the battle. Sites include various earthworks, artillery positions and other points of interest. A map available at the Visitor's Center will show you where to go, as will signs on the trails along the way. As I was relatively short of time, I didn't walk the entire six miles but still saw most of the key sites. There are several well preserved earthworks that you can walk up to in order to get a perspective of what the soldiers faced. Unfortunately the Mississippi River had changed the landscape by the fort, so you don't get to see how the naval forces approached the fort and the ensuing battle. They've also allowed nature to take over so other than the cleared areas around the earthworks, you do not get a perspective of the land battle somewhat as it was back then.

Being able to walk the ground and see the earthworks and terrain really give you an idea of the siege and what the soldiers on both sides went through. When you get to Fort Desperate, there is a small exhibit about that portion of the fight. There are also several artillery pieces around the Visitor's center that you can look at as well. I would recommend bringing bottled water with you, as I found out the hard way that it is hot and humid even at 80 degrees.

If you are interested in the American Civil War and history in general, the Port Hudson State Historic site is definitely worth visiting. It is not that well known to most, but was a critical battle of the war which allowed the Union army to control the Mississippi River and cut the Confederacy into two. There is a $4 charge paid when you drive into the park. It is free for senior citizens and children under the age of 12. One thing to keep in mind is that they are only open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 0900-1700.

Visited October 2013
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3 Thank wbullseye
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Coldspring, Texas
Level Contributor
117 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
“Port Hudson State Park”
Reviewed July 17, 2013 via mobile

Very moving, educational experience; we wished we had more time to linger in the beautiful wooded areas where so many died. The visuals in the museum are so meaningful and one is so moved to read journal entries and see photos of those who are long dead.

Visited July 2013
Helpful?
1 Thank Bentleybeagledog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level Contributor
2,835 reviews
1,128 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1,856 helpful votes
“A Civil War site you may not have heard about”
Reviewed June 26, 2013

Port Hudson, located about 10 miles south of St. Francisville, Louisiana, on highway 61, is an important Civil War site that many people haven't heard about. It doesn't receive as much fanfare as Vicksburg. But coupled with the surrender of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863, and the surrender of Port Hudson a few days later, the Union army broke the grip of the Confederacy on the Mississippi River. There is a lot to see at Port Hudson, which once had a series of big cannons dug into high bluffs overlooking the river that devastated Union gunboats. But, like Vicksburg, the river long ago struck a new course that left Port Hudson high and dry. There is an extensive museum filled with relics and displays and artifacts and maps and much information about the 47-day siege, which was longer than Grant's siege of Vicksburg. You can drive the area to see the bluffs, trenches, where river batteries were established, the national cemetery and other earthworks. And you can see how the Mississippi River has changed from then to now. And you can walk about six miles of trails to view the site, too. Foot-sore tourists are warned, however. There are no water fountains on the trail system. Or a McDonald's. But the map provided by the visitors center for drivers of the property is very detailed and informative and worth the time. It is a wonderful insight into one of the most important battlefield sites in the Civil War that many people aren't familiar with.

Visited June 2013
Helpful?
3 Thank Taylor B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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