In her Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection Native Guard, Natasha Trethewey reminds us that history is complicated.
“Native Guard” refers to a military regiment and an event during the American Civil War. The 1st Louisiana Native Guardwas a regiment of Black men who fought for the Union. The regiment was based in New Orleans and was comprised of a few free men of color but mostly escaped slaves from area plantations. The regiment played a prominent role in the Battle of Port Hudson, a Confederate fort north of Baton Rouge then on the Mississippi River that bears the distinction of enduring the longest military siege of any town in North America. The town surrendered to Union forces a few days after the fall of Vicksburg in July 1863.
To continue reading, please see my post today at Tweetspeak Poetry.