Monday, January 26, 2015

More on "Blood on the Bayou"

I've been told that the third volume of Don Frazier's "Louisiana Quadrille" titled Blood on the Bayou: Vicksburg, Port Hudson, and the Trans-Mississippi remains on track for an early February release. In the meantime, the author kindly sent me a digital version of a late galley to peruse. Military actions remain the primary focus, with full coverage of a range of skirmishes and battles fought during June and July 1863 (some fought to divert Union attention from and relieve pressure on Vicksburg and Port Hudson), including Milliken's Bend and the Confederate offensive and Union counteroffensive into the LaFourche District (i.e. battles at Brashear City, Fort Butler, Donaldsonville, Kock's Plantation and more). Coincident with the fighting was a massive Union campaign to seize control of the slave population, transforming ex-slaves into either soldiers or workers on federal government managed plantations. This plan to permanently destroy slavery and harness a vast new source of labor and manpower was at its most aggressive in the Lower Mississippi Valley and thus is an important theme in the book.  The maps look really great and the series as a whole comprises something of an atlas of Civil War Louisiana.  Having to incorporate the 1863 Texas Overland Campaign, the 1864 Red River Campaign, and all manner of smaller scale events before and between, the final volume will have to be a thick tome.

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