Friday, August 17, 2018


          A new biography has been published on the life of Major General Franklin Gardner who commanded Confederate forces in the epic Siege of Port Hudson, Louisiana in 1863.
    The book, "Major General Franklin Gardner: Hero of the Siege of Port Hudson," by Michael Dan Jones, is believed to be the first book length biography on this important Confederate general. The author covers Gardner's entire life, from his birth in  New York City and growing up in Washington D.C. to his time as a student at the West Point, his family life, his spectacular record in the Mexican-American War, the War for Southern Independence and his final post-war years in Louisiana.    
     Jones also covers new ground in that he has corrected the historic record about Gardner's controversial departure from the U.S. Army in April 1861. He was accused of not having resigned before he left his last military post, which resulted in some previous historians accusing Gardner of being a deserter from the U.S. Army. Jones, however, found his actual resignation letter, as well as contemporary newspaper notices, which conclusively prove that Gardner did, in fact, resign before he left his last post.
    Gardner was a brilliant military leader who proved his courage in combat during the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848. He proved his leadership ability in numerous battles for the opening of the war in 1846 at Fort Brown, Texas to the final dramatic victory at Mexico City in 1847. He received two brevet promotions for his gallantry in battle and personal praise from the commander of the American forces, General Winfield Scott.
    During the War for Southern Independence, Gardner was commissioned a lieutenant colonel in the Provisional Army of the Confederate States of America, and given command of Fort Gaines, Alabama. During the Battle of Shiloh, he was on the staff of General Braxton Bragg and carried important orders to various points on the field of battle. He was promoted to brigadier general by Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard and given command of the cavalry of the Army of the Mississippi. During Braggs’ Kentucky campaign of 1862, he commanded a brigade of Alabama infantry and was present, but held in reserve, during the Battle of Perryville.
     In December 1862, Gardner was promoted to major general and put in command of the District of Mississippi and East Louisiana with headquarters at Port Hudson, La.
There, he conducted one of the most gallant and effective defenses of a Confederate fortification in the war. It was the longest siege in American military history. The author covers the siege and its aftermath, during which Gardner was a prisoner of war, in detail.
      Gardner had married in 1850 the daughter of former Louisiana senator and governor Alexandre Mouton, and after the war lived the rest of his life in the state. Jones has found that Gardner had a much more prominent and varied life in the postwar years, including jobs as a draftsman, newspaper reporter and a parish surveyor for Lafayette Parish.
      The book is published by in Charleston, S.C. and has 218 pages, photos, maps, index and bibliography. It is $15.95 and is available on,, and other online booksellers


Kirk D. Lyons said...

You have a photo of John B Magruder in Confederate uniform. What is the source for that image?

kirk d. Lyons

Michael Jones said...

I have an original CDV image of him that I use. Thanks.
Mike Jones

Frank Jastrzembski said...


I'm interested to know if you include an account of Gardner's role during the Siege of Fort Texas (Brown) in your book? I'm looking for any letters related to his service in the Mexican War.

Frank Jastrzembski