"Long before the Confederacy was crushed militarily, it was defeated economically," writes Charles L. Dufour. He contends that with the fall of the critical city of New Orleans in spring 1862 the South lost the Civil War, although fighting would continue for three more years. On the Mississippi River, below New Orleans, in the predawn of April 24, 1862, David Farragut with fourteen gunboats ran past two forts to capture the South's principal seaport.
Vividly descriptive, The Night the War Was Lost is also very human in its portrayal of terrified citizens and leaders occasionally rising to heroism. In a swift-moving narrative, Dufour explains the reasons for the seizure of New Orleans and describes its results.