638 Southwestern Historical Quarterly
resulted in less critical analysis in this history than might otherwise be
the case" (p. vi). Brown primarily utilizes the interviews he held with
key personnel from the Southwestern Division and often seems to ac-
cept the interviewee's judgments about Corps activities rather than de-
veloping his own analysis. Although the work includes an extensive bib-
liography, footnote citations generally fail to reflect this fact. Much
technical information taken from oral interviews, which are not always
factually accurate, could doubtless have been reinforced by citations
from primary or standard secondary sources, lending greater scholarly
credibility to the work. Overall, Brown provides a good perspective for
understanding the history of the Southwestern Division within the
larger context of the Corps history.
University of North Texas J. B. SMALLWOOD
Port Hudson: Confederate Bastzon on the Mississippz. By Lawrence Lee
Hewitt. (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1987. Pp.
xvi+221. Preface, acknowledgments, maps, illustrations, notes, ap-
pendices, bibliography, index. $19.95.)
Overshadowed by the dramatics upstream at Vicksburg, Port Hud-
son nevertheless was the last to fall of the South's defenses against a
smothering western strategy-and this after "the longest true siege in
American military history" (p. 168). Coming after the defeats at Gettys-
burg and Vicksburg, the loss of Port Hudson permitted the Mississippi
to flow "unvexed to the sea" and foretold the Confederacy's demise,
though the final rites would be delayed for many long months. Red
River, the main supply waterway from four western states that emptied
between the two "bastions" of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, no longer
would deliver men, munitions, and victuals.
Lawrence Lee Hewitt, assistant professor of history at Southeastern
Louisiana University, has ably illuminated a shadowy corner of Civil
War history, complete with four appendices recording the order of
battle for both Union and Confederate forces at various stages of
Nathaniel Banks's campaign. One could wish, however, that he had
continued the narrative to its actual conclusion, rather than halting it
with the Union assault on May 27, 1863-a month and a half before
the capitulation on July 9. This break was made, Hewitt explains in the
foreword, so as not to detract from Port Hudson's strategic importance.
The evacuation of Dunkirk comes to mind.
Hewitt makes clear an often-overlooked fact: that Admiral David
Farragut had managed to get three warships past Port Hudson up
from Baton Rouge in the early stages of the campaign, thus placing
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 92, July 1988 - April, 1989. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101212/. Accessed January 30, 2015.