Camp Parapet: The Union

After the Confederate retreat and Admiral Farragut's capture of New Orleans and the surrounding area by May 1, 1862, federal forces continued to use the fortification and even improved it significantly. Most of the work was conducted by "contraband" slave labor, enslaved plantation workers who gravitated to areas under federal control. Union leadership renamed the structure "Camp Parapet." Many units from Northern states were stationed at the camp for the duration of the war, including the 73rd Regiment, US Colored Troops. This unit was previously known as the Louisiana Native Guards and was the first African American regiment formed in the Union during the Civil War. It is most well known for its valor in the Port Hudson Campaign. Only later did the 54th Massachusetts,the more famous African American regiment depicted in the film "Glory", gain fame in South Carolina.

When compared to the current terrain,the road which ran from Camp Parapet's main redoubt to Metairie Road roughly corresponds to modern day Causeway Boulevard while the path taken by the Illinois Central Gulf Railroad is about the same as Airline Drive.

All that remains of Camp Parapet is the dirt and grass covered powder magazine near the river levee. It is located on Arlington Avenue, near that street's intersection with Causeway Boulevard. It is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Visiting the site in person, one should keep in mind it is in a residential neighborhood.
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Images

Camp Parapet

Camp Parapet

Photo courtesy of Louisiana Office of Culture, Recreation, and Tourism View File Details Page

Louisiana Native Guards at Port Hudson

Louisiana Native Guards at Port Hudson

Photo courtesy of National Archives View File Details Page

1863 U.S. Army map of New Orleans area. Camp Parapet west of the city

1863 U.S. Army map of New Orleans area. Camp Parapet west of the city

Image: The Official Military Atlas of the Civil War, Government Printing Office, 1983 Edition View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Rhett Breerwood, “Camp Parapet: The Union,” New Orleans Historical, accessed July 22, 2017, http://neworleanshistorical.org/items/show/658.
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