Port Hudson National Cemetery
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Cemetery Administration building
|Location||Port Hudson, East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana, USA|
|Nearest city||Zachary, Louisiana|
|Architect||Meigs, Montgomery C.|
|Architectural style||Second Empire|
|Governing body||Veterans Administration|
|MPS||Civil War Era National Cemeteries MPS|
|NRHP Reference #||99000591|
|Added to NRHP||May 20, 1999|
|Designated NHL||May 30, 1974|
Port Hudson National Cemetery is a United States National Cemetery located in Port Hudson, 20 miles (32 km) north of the city of Baton Rouge in East Baton Rouge Parish, Louisiana. It encompasses 19.9 acres (8.1 ha), and as of the end of 2007, had 12,718 interments.
The cemetery is located on the site which was the main battleground of the Siege of Port Hudson, during the American Civil War. Nearly 4,000 Union troops fell during the fighting, and most were buried in the cemetery, many as unknowns. After the war another 8.4 acres (3.4 ha) was appropriated to inter those who died in the local veterans' facilities. The battle was notable for valiant fighting by the 1st and 3rd Regiments of the Louisiana Native Guards, troops composed of free men of color from the New Orleans area and a majority of African Americans who had escaped from slavery to join the cause and gain freedom.
The Confederate soldiers who died were primarily buried in the trenches where they fell. A Confederate Cemetery was later established in the Port Hudson area; it is not accessible to the public.
The battlefield at Port Hudson is one of the few naturally preserved Civil War battlegrounds. The breastworks, gun pits, and trenches remain today almost as they were during the battle. The area has never been developed.
Port Hudson National Cemetery was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1974; it is also associated with the area of the Port Hudson Historic Site operated by the state.
- Betty Heitman, co-chairman of the Republican National Committee from 1983 to 1987, buried with her husband, Captain Henry Schrader Heitman
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- "Port Hudson". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. 2008-06-24.
- Terry L. Jones (2012-10-19) "The Free Men of Color Go to War" - NYTimes.com. Opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com. Retrieved on 2012-12-18.