A Mortal Blow to the Confederacy, The Fall of New Orleans, 1862, Mark F. Bielski, 2021 Savas Beatie, 194 pages. A Tennessee Valley Civil War Round Table review by Arley McCormick

This volume is a credit to the Savas Beatie Emerging Civil War Series and follows a similar format as previously published books in the series. Mark F. Bielski covers the antebellum years, the advantage of New Orleans as a port to the world, the slave trade, and the debate within the Confederacy’s leadership regarding its importance and defense. He amplifies 1861 as more than the year the war began, but as a year when the reality of conducting a war illustrated the limitations of the Confederacy’s ability to wage war and the constitutional limitations a Commander in Chief possessed to implement any plans approved in Richmond.

There is ample discussion regarding the forts and outer defenses including Ship Island. One annex is devoted to both the Union and Confederate Navy and Army organizations and of course, throughout the book, the characters that played a key role in the establishment of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana, National policy, military decision making, and failures to act decisively.

This is another excellent reference and guide to the numerous locations in and around New Orleans that became targets and points of interest created by the events of the American Civil War.