Army of the Gulf

Army of the Gulf
Army of the Gulf
Active
Country United States of America
Branch United States Army
Engagements American Civil War

The Army of the Gulf was a Union army that served in the general area of the Gulf states controlled by Union forces. It mainly saw action in Louisiana and Alabama.

Contents

History

The Department of the Gulf was created when Admiral David G. Farragut captured New Orleans in 1862. The commander of the Union occupation forces, Benjamin F. Butler was placed in command of the department. In March, Butler assumed command of the department and the Army of the Gulf was created from the troops now designated to the Department of the Gulf.

The army saw little action the rest of 1862 and Butler was replaced by Major General Nathaniel P. Banks on December 17. Banks assumed command of the Department of the Gulf, the Army of the Gulf, and the XIX Corps, which were essentially different names for the same force. Banks led the army in several engagements in lower Louisiana that eventually led to the Siege of Port Hudson, the army's first major engagement. The army endured the siege and the post was finally surrendered on July 9, 1863. The next year the XIII Corps and two divisions of the XVI Corps were added to the department, increasing the army to over three corps. Banks retained command of the army and department while Gen. William H. Emory assumed command of the XIX Corps.

In March 1864, Banks began his disastrous Red River Campaign. After it failed, he resigned from the army and was replaced by Maj. Gen. Stephen A. Hurlbut. The XIX Corps was sent to the Shenandoah Valley and the forces that remained in the army participated in the land attack at the Battle of Mobile Bay.

Late in the war, Maj. Gen. Edward Canby's Military Division of West Mississippi was given the army's two remaining corps, the XIII and the XVI, for a planned offensive to capture the city of Mobile. During this operation, Canby renamed the force the Army of West Mississippi after the military division that he commanded. Although now under a different title, the force was virtually the same army and it took part in the Battle of Spanish Fort and the Battle of Fort Blakely. Canby was appointed command of the Department of the Gulf at the closing of the war and the forces once again became the Army of the Gulf.

Command history

Major battles and campaigns

Battle Orders

  • Port Hudson order of battle

References

See also


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