Lake Providence in East Carroll Parish, Louisiana — The American South (West South Central)
Grant's March Through Louisiana
Winter Quarters, the country home of Haller and Julia Nutt, is the only plantation home along Lake Saint Joseph that survived the Vicksburg campaign. The Nutts were Union sympathizers who offered hospitality to Union soldiers at Winter Quarters. In return they received "letters of protection" from Ulysses S. Grant, which spared their home from the devastation levied by advancing Union troops under the orders of General William T. Sherman. Union army stragglers later destroyed many of the out-buildings, leaving only the main structure standing.
Following the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863, the United States Colored Troops were formed and hundreds of thousands of blacks served. Poorly trained and poorly armed, the African Brigade was guarding the Union supply depot at Milliken's Bend when it came under Confederate attack. Reports of this skirmish indicate that the black soldiers engaged the Confederates in hand-to-hand combat with bayonet and clubbed muskets, successfully defending the outpost. Their service to the Union in guarding supply bases allowed many white troops to carry on with the siege of Vicksburg.
Vicksburg National Military Park
In June 1862, Union troops under Brigadier General Thomas Williams began to dig a canal across the base of De Soto Point, opposite Vicksburg, in hopes of bypassing the city's Confederate batteries. Sickness and disease, unrelenting heat, and an uncooperative river that seemed to drop more rapidly than the soldiers could dig continually plagued the efforts. In just a few short weeks, the weary soldiers withdrew. However, in January 1863, work on the canal was resumed by troops under the command of Major General Ulysses S. Grant whose troops were ultimately foiled by heavy rains and flood waters that broke through the levee and inundated the area. With the death toll rising daily, Grant eventually abandoned the canal and embarked on new strategies to capture
Life Under Occupation
In an excerpt from Brokenburn, Kate Stone wrote, "We have been on a strict war footing for some time — cornbread, and home-raised meal, milk and butter, tea once a day, and coffee never. A year ago we would have considered it impossible to get on for a day without the things that we have been doing without for months...Clothes have become a secondary consideration...just to be decently clad is all we expect. In proportion that we have been waited-on people, we are ready to do away with all the forms and work and wait on ourselves."
Governor Thomas Overton Moore called upon the citizens of Louisiana to destroy cotton crops, also known as "white gold," where Union occupation was a danger. In order to keep this valuable commodity out of the hands of the Union army the crops were set ablaze in sacrificial bonfires. Burning cotton crops was considered an act of loyalty to the Confederacy and since plantation management during the war was often left to the women, it was their opportunity to actively participate in the Confederate cause.
Location. 32° 48.428′ N, 91° 10.466′ W. Marker Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 600 Lake Street, Lake Providence LA 71254, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 6 other markers are within 9 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Battle for the Mississippi: The Vicksburg Campaign (a few steps from this marker); Grant's Canal (within shouting distance of this marker); Soldiers' Rest (approx. half a mile away); Lake Providence Confederate Monument (approx. 0.6 miles away); Transylvania Mounds (approx. 8½ miles away); Julice Mound (approx. 8.6 miles away).
Categories. • African Americans • War, US Civil • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on November 8, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama. This page has been viewed 234 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on November 8, 2015, by Mark Hilton of Montgomery, Alabama.