Camp Parapet

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Camp Parapet Powder Magazine
The Camp Parapet powder magazine in 2008
Camp Parapet is located in Louisiana
Camp Parapet
Camp Parapet is located in the US
Camp Parapet
Location 2812 Arlington Street, Jefferson, Louisiana
Coordinates 29°57′40″N 90°09′20″W / 29.96116°N 90.1556°W / 29.96116; -90.1556Coordinates: 29°57′40″N 90°09′20″W / 29.96116°N 90.1556°W / 29.96116; -90.1556
Area 0.7 acres (0.28 ha)
Built 1861
Built by Major Martin Luther Smith
Architect Major Benjamin Buisson
NRHP reference # 77000671[1]
Added to NRHP May 24, 1977

Camp Parapet was a Civil War fortification at Shrewsbury, Jefferson Parish, Louisiana, a bit more than a mile upriver from the current city limits of New Orleans.


1863 map of Camp Parapet

The fortification consisted of a Confederate defensive line about a mile and 3/4 long stretching from the Mississippi River northward to Metairie Ridge. (The area further north from the ridge to Lake Pontchartrain was at the time swampland.) This was intended to protect the city of New Orleans from Union attack from upriver. As the Union fleet took the city by sailing in from below, the fortification was never used. After the capture of New Orleans, U.S. forces garrisoned and expanded the fortifications to defend against a Confederate counter-attack, which never came.

Under Union control, the Camp lay in the district of Brigadier General Thomas W. Sherman. In late-September 1862, Halbert E. Paine, captain of the Fourth Wisconsin Volunteer Regiment, assumed command of the camp. George H. Hanks, a lieutenant in the 12th Connecticut Infantry Regiment was detailed as Aide de Camp for Sherman for the superintendence of the many contraband arriving at the camp. He organized six colonies at Camp Parapet each led by a non-commissioned officer and directed black labor in the repair and fortification of the camp and surroundings.[2] This scheme was expanded under Hanks to become the Bureau of Negro Labor, which was one of the organizations which would eventually become the Freedmen's Bureau.[3]


Powder magazine[edit]

The only remaining structure of the fortification is the powder magazine, of brick enclosed in an earth mound. It is located off Causeway Boulevard near the American Legion Post 267, preserved in a small park and added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 24, 1977.[1][4][5]

Cemetery site[edit]

Nearby is the historic Shrewsbury (Camp Parapet) Cemetery, the site of the camp's cemetery, where 7,000 Union bodies were once interred before being moved to Chalmette National Cemetery.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b National Park Service (2013-11-02). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  2. ^ Paine, Halbert Eleazer. A Wisconsin Yankee in Confederate Bayou Country: The Civil War Reminiscences of a Union General. LSU Press, 1 May 2009, diary entry September 29, 1862
  3. ^ Ripley, C. Peter. Slaves and Freedmen in Civil War Louisiana. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1976
  4. ^ "Camp Parapet Powder Magazine" (PDF). State of Louisiana's Division of Historic Preservation. Retrieved June 26, 2018.  with two photos and a map
  5. ^ Mrs. Bethlyn J. McCloskey, W. Eugene White (August 1976). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory/Nomination Form: Camp Parapet Powder Magazine". National Park Service. Retrieved June 26, 2018.  With eight photos from 1977.

External links[edit]