Union defenders thwarted a bold Confederate assault here
Recognizing the strategic importance of this river port at the mouth of Bayou Lafourche, Union forces built Fort Butler on this site in late 1862. The earthen, log and brick structure no longer exists.
On the evening of June 27, 1863, Confederate forces advanced on the fort and hoped to capture it in a daring assault that would overwhelm its small garrison. When they reached the riverbank, the attackers encountered a moat and palisade that hampered their attack which quickly fell apart. Gunfire from the fort and the Union gunboats on the river proved deadly, and the Confederate retreated, leaving scores of dead and prisoners behind.
1863 Night Assault
Infantry from the 28th Maine Volunteer Regiment, as well as a number of former slaves and convalescent soldiers in the fort, fired on the swarming Confederates below. In addition, artillery fire from the Union Gunboats took a toll on the men from Texas and Arizona. Union casualties were light.
The white lines on this aerial photo indicate the approximate location of Fort Butler. The point where you are standing would have been inside the fort. Historically,
This is the only known photo of Fort Butler during the Civil War, possibly 1864. Note the buildings inside the fort.
Archaeological excavations in the late 1990's revealed the fort's structural details and a variety of artifacts.
Brass epaulet from a military coat.
Many brickbats were found in the diggings. It is said that soldiers hurled them when their gunpowder got wet and their guns failed to fire.
Erected by Ascension Parish Tourism Commission.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Forts and Castles • War, US Civil. A significant historical date for this entry is June 27, 1863.
Location. 30° 6.473′ N, 90° 59.464′ W. Marker is in Donaldsonville, Louisiana, in Ascension Parish. Marker is on Mississippi Street (State Highway 18) near Iberville Street, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Donaldsonville LA 70346, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Walter Lemann, Sr. Pumping Station (here, next to this marker); Fort Butler UDC Monument (a few steps from this marker); Fort Butler African American Soldiers Memorial (a few steps from this marker); Donaldsonville (a few steps from this marker); Bayou LafourcheDedicated to the Memory Of (approx. 0.2 miles away); Historic Donaldsonville (approx. 0.2 miles away); Crescent Park (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Donaldsonville.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 12, 2020. It was originally submitted on September 12, 2020, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana. This page has been viewed 451 times since then and 120 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 12, 2020, by Cajun Scrambler of Assumption, Louisiana.