Miserable Little Conglomeration

A Social History of the Port Hudson Campaign

  • Author(s): Thrasher, Christopher
  • Series: Voices of the Civil War
  • Imprint: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication Date: 2023-11-14
  • Status: Active
  • Available in Hardcover - Cloth: Price $45.00 | Buy Now

While Vicksburg and Gettysburg tend to receive the most attention among Civil War battles, it is Port Hudson that holds the record for the longest-running siege in American history. During the summer of 1863, US soldiers fought in the infamous heat and damp of Louisiana for forty-eight grueling days, having severely underestimated the Confederates’ determination to win.

Previous accounts of these events have rested on the leaders, well-known figures, and familiar faces of the Civil War. Here, social historian Christopher Thrasher draws from a robust collection of archival sources to tell the story of the common people’s experience throughout the Port Hudson Campaign: the soldiers who fought, the civilians who persisted, and the men who persevered for those long days.

With more than forty illustrations and maps depicting the battles of Port Hudson and the defenses of the place itself, Miserable Little Conglomeration builds upon previous scholarship to present a social history of this campaign through the eyes of the people who lived, fought, and died within it.

Filling a long-empty gap within Civil War scholarship, Thrasher’s fresh approach to the Port Hudson campaign will be of interest to Civil War scholars, students of Louisiana history, and younger learners who are interested in the voices of American history.

CHRISTOPHER THRASHER is an instructor of history and political science at Fayetteville Technical Community College. He is the author of Fight Sports and American Masculinity: Salvation in Violence from 1607 to the Present and Suffering in the Army of Tennessee: A Social History of the Confederate Army of the Heartland from the Battles for Atlanta to the Retreat from Nashville, winner of the 2022 Douglas Southall Freeman award.