Ship Island History

 Ship Island has played an important role in the history and settlement of the Gulf Coast. The island was named in 1699 by French explorers who were impressed with the protected, deep-water anchorage it offered their ships. The island soon became an important port for French Louisiana. Many colonists took their first steps on American soil at Ship Island and it is considered the "Plymouth Rock" of the Gulf Coast.

During the war of 1812, 60 British ships, with nearly 10,000 troops, rendezvoused near the island prior to their unsuccessful attempt to capture New Orleans. In 1862 Ship Island served as the base from which Admiral David Farragut's Union fleet sailed to attack and capture the ports New Orleans and Mobile

                                                 

The Island also became a prison for Confederate P.O.W.s, and a base for the 2nd Louisiana Native Guard Volunteers, one of the first black U.S. combat units to fight in the Civil War. The National Park Service provides history lectures and tours of Fort Massachusetts March through October. You can learn more about the Louisiana Native Guard from a special feature by Pulitzer Prize winning poet Natasha Tretheway at NPR.org

Click HERE for to order "Thank God My Regiment an African American One" by Kitty Weaver. Ms Weaver's book includes rare photographs and the 1863 diary of Major Nathan Daniels, the officer in charge of the 2nd Regiment, Louisiana Native Guard.

 

Click On Article Title to Learn more about Ship Island's History.

 

For more information about the historic and natural resources of Ship Island and Gulf Islands National Seashore

  • Visit: nps.gov/guis
  • Call: (228) 875-9057
  • Mail: GUIS District Superintendent 3500 Park Road Ocean Springs, MS 39564

Vintage Photographs:

         
                     Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College C.C. “Tex” Hamill Down South Magazine Collection.

              
                Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College C.C. “Tex” Hamill Down South Magazine Collection.
           
                                   Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College C.C. “Tex” Hamill Down South Magazine Collection.