Battle of New Orleans

Benjamin Butler, Union General
Benjamin Butler, Union General. Library of Congress/Public Domain


April 25–May 1, 1862

Other Names:



New Orleans, Louisiana

Key Individuals Involved in the Battle of New Orleans:

Union: Flag-Officer David G. Farragut and Major General Benjamin Franklin Butler
Confederate: Major General Mansfield Lovell


Union Victory. Casualties None.

Overview of the Battle :

New Orleans occupied a strategic location for the South as they were able to send troops and support up the Mississippi River.

The Confederate strategists believed that an attack on the city would come from troops heading down the Mississippi, not from the Gulf of Mexico itself. 

For the Union troops, two forts near the mouth of the Mississippi stood in their way to taking New Orleans: Fort Jackson and Fort St. Philip. On April 24, 1862 under the cover of darkness, Flag-Officer David Farragut was able to lead 24 gunboats, 19 mortar boats, and over 19,000 men past the forts. 

Once this passage of the forts was complete, New Orleans was unable to provide much resistance. Troops and ships had been moved by the Confederacy up the Mississippi to northern Mississippi and western Tennessee to stop the Union from invading down the river. Only about 3,000 militia. some steamboats, and some unfinished ironclads were left in New Orleans. 

Farragut was able to lead his squadron on up the Mississippi River to demand the surrender of the City of New Orleans on April 25th.

Confederate General Mansfield Lovell realized that the city would not be able to withstand the Union onslaught that was to come. The Union troops focused on subduing Forts Jackson and St. Philip. With this complete, they were able to take over the city on April 29th.

By May 1st, Major General Benjamin Franklin Butler’s army started landing at New Orleans and occupied the city for the Union.

The largest city of the Confederacy, New Orleans, had fallen to the Northern troops. The Union occupation of the city was a major loss for the South. Butler set up a system of martial law in the city was soon vilified for his harsh tactics. One example was the passage of Butler's General Order No. 28. This order was to punish the women of New Orleans who spoke against the Union soldiers. It stated that any woman who insulted Union soldiers were to be treated as a common prostitute. In other words, they were no longer to be treated as ladies and soldiers could retaliate in kind to their actions. This order caused an uproar in the South, North, and overseas. By December 16, 1862, Butler would be removed from the city in part due to the anger over this order. He was replaced by Major General Nathaniel P. Banks. Federal troops continued to occupy the city even after the war. 

Source: CWSAC Battle Summaries

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Your Citation
Kelly, Martin. "Battle of New Orleans." ThoughtCo, Dec. 1, 2015, Kelly, Martin. (2015, December 1). Battle of New Orleans. Retrieved from Kelly, Martin. "Battle of New Orleans." ThoughtCo. (accessed November 20, 2017).