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The Capture of New Orleans, 1862

Hearn, Chester G.

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ISBN 10: 0807119458 / ISBN 13: 9780807119457
Published by Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, LA, 1995
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About this Item

Sewn binding. Paper over boards. [14], 292, [6] p. Bibliography. Index. Hearn's analysis is based on thorough reading of all official and unofficial correspondence exchanged by the principal players of both governments. Very good in very good dust jacket. Donation sticker on t-p. DJ has slight wear and soiling. Bookseller Inventory # 70244

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Bibliographic Details

Title: The Capture of New Orleans, 1862

Publisher: Louisiana State University Press, Baton Rouge, LA

Publication Date: 1995

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: First edition. First printing [stated].

About this title


On April 24, 1862, Federal gunboats made their way past two Confederate forts to ascend the Mississippi, and the Union navy captured the city of New Orleans. How did the South lose its most important city? In this exhaustively researched, authoritative, well-argued study, Chester Hearn examines the decisions, actions, individuals, and events that brought about the capture of New Orleans - and forever weakened the Confederate war machine.
Hearn directs his inquiry to the heart of government, both Union and Confederate, and takes a hard look at the selection of military and naval leaders, the use of natural and financial resources, and the performances of all personnel involved. The decisions of Jefferson Davis, Stephen R. Mallory, and three Confederate secretaries of war, he holds, were as much to blame for the fall of New Orleans as David Farragut's warships. Hearn also scrutinizes the role of Major General Mansfield Lovell and evaluates the investigation that ended his career.
Hearn's explorations bring us into a flourishing New Orleans and introduce Louisiana leaders Thomas O. Moore and the debilitated old men sent to prepare the state for war: Major General David E. Twiggs and Commodore Lawrence Rousseau. We follow their trifling efforts to defend the lower Mississippi and General Lovell's frustrations in attempting to arm forts and obtain cooperation from the navy, and we come to understand the dismay of such leaders as P. G. T. Beauregard and Braxton Bragg as they witnessed this bungling. Hearn traces the building of the ironclads Manassas, Louisiana, and Mississippi, and investigates the reason for their failure to defend New Orleans.


The North did not fare so well in the early stages of the Civil War. One year after the fall of Fort Sumter, however, Admiral David Glasgow Farragut provided a significant victory by seizing the vital Southern city of New Orleans. Chester G. Hearn blames the Confederacy's political leadership for the catastrophe, but also points to Farragut's bravado. Jefferson Davis was shocked to learn of the event, even though the Union specifically targeted the city and devoted substantial resources to its capture. With more than 40 maps and illustrations, The Capture of New Orleans, 1862 describes an underappreciated factor in the North's eventual triumph.

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