Thunder Across the Swamp
The Fight for the Lower Mississippi, February-May 1863
6 x 9, 630 pp.
123 photos. 56 maps. 75 Illustrations. Notes. Bibliography. Index.
Pub Date: 09/28/2011
Price:        $39.95


Published by State House Press

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2012 Albert Castel Book Award Honorable Mention
2012 Richard B. Harwell Book Award Runner-up

Thunder Across the Swamp

The Fight for the Lower Mississippi, February-May 1863

Donald S. Frazier

Echoes from the Battle of Galveston had barely faded before a new Federal offensive began rolling down the banks of the Mississippi River. General Ulysses S. Grant, intent on reducing the Confederate citadel at Vicksburg, began looking for ways to reduce the fortress and return control of the mightiest of American rivers to northern control. Downstream in New Orleans, General Nathaniel P. Banks received orders to cooperate however he could in this effort, but faced challenges of his own, blocked by the Confederate bastion at Port Hudson. The problem facing Union war planners seemed nearly intractable.
Both of these Confederate positions had key vulnerabilities. Both garrisons depended heavily on supplies thrown across the Mississippi from sources in Louisiana and Texas, and the task fell to the United States Navy to cut off this stream of cattle and corn. The ensuing campaign to interdict these rations turned into one of the most massive raids in Civil War history, involving tens of thousands of Union foot soldiers and cavalry and scores of warships and transports, plunging Louisiana into the pit of a destructive war that wrecked everything in its path. When General Banks launched his campaign up Bayou Teche and the Atchafalaya River in Louisiana, Confederates in the region faced the greatest challenge yet to their claims of independence and experienced for the first time the true devastation of war and the consequences of rebellion.      
Thunder Across the Swamp: The Fight for the Lower Mississippi, February–May 1863 is the second of the four books in Donald S. Frazier’s highly acclaimed Louisiana Quadrille. In this fast-paced narrative, readers ride along with gunboat skippers in duels along the Mississippi, trot along with cavalrymen as they slash their way through enemy lines, experience the dust and confusion of infantry assaults, and mourn with Louisiana, Texas, and New England families that watch their property and families destroyed by civil war. Most students of this national calamity may believe they know well the campaigns on the Mississippi; Thunder Across the Swamp promises to fill in the less well-known story of the fight to control the west bank during the crucial campaigns of 1863.


DONALD S. FRAZIER is the award-winning author of Blood and Treasure; Cottonclads!; Fire in the Cane Field; and Thunder Across the Swamp. His other work include serving as co-author of Frontier Texas and editor of Love and War: The Civil War Letters and Medicinal Book of Augustus V. Ball.


What Readers Are Saying:

"Thunder Across the Swamp displays outstanding narrative skills, superb scholarship, and contains a wide ranging use of previously unpublished primary sources from both Union and Confederate viewpoints. Anyone with a desire to know more about the much neglected portion of the Civil War in Louisiana west of the Mississippi River in early 1863 should read this book. It will be exceptionally valuable to scholars as well as more casual readers of the War in the West." —Gary D. Joiner, Ph.D.

"Don writes well and has done a tremendous amount of research in primary and secondary sources. This work fills a large void in the literature of the Civil War and describes events that either have not received adequate coverage in the past or have not appeared before in print." —Arthur W. Bergeron

In the vast arena of books on the Civil War there appears, once in a while, a well done piece on a little known but critically important part of this great struggle [Louisiana's Civil War]. Frazier has accomplished this with his well done work, Thunder Across the Swamp: The Fight for the Lower Mississippi, February 1863-May 1863. This volume is the perfect companion piece to Frazier's previous work, Fire in the Cane Field. —Dale Phillips, Civil War Book Review, LSU Libraries' Special Collections

"This second volume of Donald Frazier's 'Louisiana Quadrille' series establishes him as the premier chronicler of the war in the bayous, bottomlands, and sawgrass prairies between the Sabine and Mississippi rivers." —Gordon Berg


"...a very impressive campaign study which is presented in a lively, narrative style, accompanied by an array of well executed tactical maps along with some outstanding photographs of the principal actors in the 1863 drama. Without questions, [Frazier] moved the war in Louisiana 'the back alley' to the front burner." —David Ward, Edsel Ford Library

"This book is a must for the dedicated Civil War buff." —Mary Beth Jones, The Facts, Brazos Living Book Beat


Fire in the Cane Field
Love and War
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