Civil War-Era Navy Items on Exhibition at Port Hudson SHS

American Civil War Navy Veteran Collection Goes on Exhibit at Port Hudson State Historic Site

For the first time ever, the Port Hudson State Historic Site is showcasing the Josiah P. Hammond Civil War collection. Since Civil War U.S. Navy artifacts are very rare, this exhibit makes a valuable addition to Port Hudson's Civil War naval story. The collection is on loan until June 2023, provided by Dr. Anthony Cavo of Maywood, New Jersey. Among the artifacts are an ambrotype of Hammond, medals and insignia issued and worn by Hammond, a booklet of Josiah's military history, and two letters written to Hammond by Civil War navy illustrator and friend William M.C. Philbrick.

Josiah P. Hammond enlisted on April 16, 1861, four days after the outbreak of the American Civil War. He originally enlisted as a "Massachusetts Minuteman" in a three-month regiment from the State of Massachusetts. He re-enlisted for a period of three years in the United States Navy and took part in many historic battles, from the Carolinas to Florida into the Gulf and finally on the Mississippi River, including the Siege of Port Hudson. Hammond served as a seaman aboard four ships including the USS Monongahela, which was involved in Admiral Farragut's nighttime naval assault against the guns of Port Hudson.

On display with the Hammond Collection is a rare U.S. blueprint drawn by Charles Henry Taylor, a Siege of Port Hudson veteran, future editor and founder of the Boston Globe Newspaper; the blueprint shows positions of rifle pits, depots, mortars, the 18-gun battery known as Bailey's Battery, Nims' Massachusetts Battery, locations of Confederate and Massachusetts regiments and of the U.S. Navy blockading ships, and the location where General Halbert E. Paine lay wounded the entire day of June 14, 1863, before being rescued.

Port Hudson State Historic Site is located on US 61 near Zachary, about 15 minutes north of Baton Rouge. Admission to the site is $4 per person and free for children (3 and under) and seniors (62 and older).

Port Hudson State Historic Site is the site of the longest siege on American soil. Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974, the site is host to Civil War re-enactments, school programs, and living history events throughout the year. For more information, call 888-677-3400 toll free or (225) 654-3775, visit, or follow the site on Facebook.