Fernando Coppernoll’s Port Hudson 1863


First Sergeant
Sep 28, 2010
The siege at Port Hudson, LA was the longest “true siege” in American history. It was a side show of the Vicksburg campaign (so to speak) & so really doesn’t generate as much enthusiastic study. But it was the most southerly point of Rebel control on the Mississippi river south of Vicksburg which overlooked defensible fortified ground. May through July 9th, 1863 would see continuous fighting around Port Hudson with several spectacularly heroic but ultimately failed Federal assaults upon the Rebel works. Both sides would suffer tremendously as the Federals suffered depredations & a higher number of casualties while the Confederates suffered hunger near starvation... eating horses, mules, dogs & finally rats (which one rebel wag claimed “tasted better then spring chicken”... no doubts he was very hungry).
So this is cool for me as I’ve recently found a family connection to this campaign. Fernando Coppernoll was a member of the 75th NY infantry from Cayuga County, NY. He is my 1st cousin 5x removed. He witnessed the mortal wounding on June 14th 1863 of his uncle Charles Coppernoll (4x GG uncle) when they assaulted the confederate fortifications. Charles died a week later at a New Orleans hospital after being shot in the leg. My 3x GG uncle Levi Coppernoll also served in the 75th NY.

Fernando Coppernoll left behind a diary for 1863 which now belongs to the University of Georgia Hann has mostly been type written.