Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.

Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Earthen Walls, Iron Men: Fort DeRussy, Louisiana, and the Defense of Red River Hardcover – August 15, 2007

4.9 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

See all 2 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
New from Used from
"Please retry"
$45.00 $39.95

2016 Book Awards
Browse award-winning titles. See all 2016 winners
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews


"This book will be of great use to historians of the western theatre of the Civil War, to the reader of nineteenth-century history, and to students of the undergraduate and graduate levels." -- Gary D. Joiner

About the Author

Steve Mayeux is a graduate of LSU and a former Marine officer. His work as an agricultural consultant in the central Louisiana area for the past thirty years has given him a great appreciation for the history and geography of the lower Red River.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Tennessee Press; 1St Edition edition (August 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1572335769
  • ISBN-13: 978-1572335769
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.4 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,710,599 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Mark Longstroth on March 19, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A unique book about a little known place that was extremely important in 1863 and 1864. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the Red River Campaign, the Civil War in Louisiana or the Trans Mississippi Theater. Fort DeRussy seldom merits mention is most accounts of the Civil War. This book was not a rehash of old material. The author is able to draw on a wealth of local information as well as primary and secondary sources. Steve Mayeux gives us the story of the fort which was supposed to defend the Red River Valley from Union gunboats from its beginning to the end of the War. It captured the Queen of the West, provided troops to man the boats that captured the Indianola and defeated another gunboat attack before falling to a Union army that captured the fort without naval assistance. Fort DeRussy then served as an important Union station during the disastrous Red River campaign. I liked the author's easy folksy style, including his personal feeling and experiences in the text and footnotes. I also appreciated the footnotes on the page for easy access. It is in the footnotes that we discover more and more about how his ancestors owned the land, his great grandmother was born there just before the union army arrived and how he and others worked to restore the fort and have it protected as a Louisiana State Park.
Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Much too often, so called historians/authors take the lazy way out of writing, particularly as it applies to the War for Southern Independence. They frequently cite the writings of other so called historians/authors for validation of their facts. The problem with this is that many of the other writings they cite are based on incorrect information or out right lies. The result is that incorrect history becomes accepted fact. Mayeux refreshingly starts from scratch in his book on Fort DeRussy. He does fresh leg work, getting to the real facts of what occurred there and the surrounding events as accounted for by both sides in the conflict. As a result, he uncovers many inaccuracies in other histories pertaining to the events surrounding the fort, and he clearly documents why these previous writings are incorrect. If one is interested in learning the no nonsense facts about Fort DeRussy and this period in our history, this book is highly recommended. It is lively and entertaining reading.
Comment 10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
There's a lot to like in Mayeux's book. His involvement with a preservation and restoration effort for DeRussy puts him in a unique position to get feedback from sources most historians might miss. The good things start with the cover - a blow-up drawing with artistic merit that appears to have been executed by someone who was actually present during the May, 1863 clash between the fort, two Confederate cotton-clads and a Union navy gunboat squadron. Prior to this useful depiction I'd never picked up on why the Fort's guns had been positioned relative to the first Red River raft. To attempt to run past the fort (a favorite Union tactic on the rivers), an attacking vessel was required to move upstream against the current, make a sharp turn to starboard, face a "raft" obstruction, after breaking through the raft, advance down a straight waterway toward the fort under fire for the whole process. All things being equal - DeRussy should have held them. Read the book to see why it didn't. From Board postings on the internet, it is clear that Mayeux has a wide knowledge of events along Red River during "the late unpleasantness". He shows admirable restraint by confining himself to his primary topic. The appendices are useful in terms of identifying individuals on both sides of the conflict serving in the DeRussy area. Amazingly, he includes a list of contracted slaves working on the fort and river obstructions that died. As such it is a unique tribute to a small portion of the vast number of Negro workmen who labored to execute the designs of the Confederate Army Engineer Department. I suspect that there will eventually be an update to this book. When it appears, I think it might be useful to add 2 or 3 pages on the kinds of ordnance used at the fort in its various incarnations and the tactical implications. Good job. Well worth the price.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
As a native of Avoyelles Parish, Steve Mayeux really has one leg up when it comes to the study of the Civil War in Central Louisiana. As such, he was able to provide details that another historian might well miss. Leaving no stones unturned he researched such obscure sources as articles appearing in the "Marksville Pelican", a local newspaper that was published contemporaneously with the events as they were occuring, as well as the observations of the Mother Superior of the Daughters of the Cross, whose letters, written in French back to her family, but translated and published by Avoyelles teacher Sister Dorothea McCants, shed great light on what it was like to have actually lived during the Civil War years in Avoyelles. Such first person accounts bring great life to the reconstruction of this moment in history. For those of you whose eyes glaze over at the thought of another book filled with complicated analyses of battle strategies and "dry as a bone" statistical studies, be advised that this book is NOT in that genre. Mayeux has truly captured the "soul" of this conflict. It is significant, no doubt, that the author, whose family has lived in the parish for generations, has a deep connection, both emotional and familial, to the events and people portrayed in this book. Mayeux spent years doing an incredible amount of research on both the Union and Confederate sides, as well as countless hours and dollars spearheading the effort to preserve the Fort DeRussy Historical Site. But what sets this book apart from so many others is that it was written from the heart by a man whose ancestors lived and died in the context of this very story.
Comment 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Pages with Related Products. See and discover other items: maine books