The Port of Greater Baton Rouge is the tenth largest in the United States in terms of tonnage shipped, and is the farthest upstream Mississippi River port capable of handling Panamax ships.

The Baton Rouge area owes its historical importance to its strategic site upon the Istrouma Bluff, the first natural bluff upriver from the Mississippi River Delta.

This allowed development of a business quarter safe from seasonal flooding.

By the outbreak of the Civil War, the population of Baton Rouge was nearly 5,500.

The war nearly halted economic progress, except for businesses associated with supplying the Union Army occupation of the city beginning in the spring of 1862.

Rather than mimic the federal Capitol in Washington, as many other states had done, he designed a capitol in Neo-Gothic, complete with turrets and crenellations, and stained glass, which overlooks the Mississippi.

It has been described as the "most distinguished example of Gothic Revival" architecture in the state and has been designated as a National Historic Landmark.

In 1846, the state legislature designated Baton Rouge Louisiana's new capital to replace "sinful" New Orleans.

The architect James Dakin was hired to design the Capitol building in Baton Rouge, with construction beginning in late 1847.

The Confederates at first consolidated their forces elsewhere, during which time the state government was moved to Opelousas and later Shreveport.

In the summer of 1862, about 2,600 Confederate troops under generals John C.

The city is a culturally rich center, with settlement by immigrants from numerous European nations and African peoples.