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Lesson Two: The Battle for the Mississippi

With the fall of New Orleans over several days, April 25–May 1, 1862, Union forces moved to exploit the defenseless condition of the Confederate forces in Louisiana and the lower Mississippi. While the West Gulf Blockading Squadron pushed up the mighty river to seize Vicksburg, other forces moved into the Lafourche region to stamp out secessionist sentiment in that region. Only a lack of troops prevented a major coup de main. Eventually, Union forces had to fall back from their early victories, only to have the Confederates launch a vicious counter-attack at Baton Rouge. Chastened, the Federals gave ground, desperate to hold their important gains against a growing Rebel threat.

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