Waterproof, Louisiana

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Waterproof is a town in Tensas Parish, Louisiana, United States with a population of 834 as of 2000 census. Waterproof is approximately seventeen miles north of Ferriday, one of the two principal communities of Concordia Parish.

Poverty abounds in Waterproof, a delta town dependent on farming. Cotton is the most common crop, but corn and soybeans are also important. In 2008, drought destroyed much of the corn crop.


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Civil War

During the American Civil War, a garrison of three hundred African American troops based in Waterproof was attacked on February 13, 1864, by eight hundred Confederates under Captain Eli Bowman. The Federal gunboat Forest Rose opened fire from the Mississippi River and drove back Bowman's men. The next day Bowman resumed the attack, but the Forest Rose again shelled the Confederates, who again fell back in confusion. Joining Bowman was the cavalry commanded by Isaac F. Harrison. On February 15, Harrison, in command, tried to storm Waterproof but was again checked by the Forest Rose. Harrison was compelled to call off the attack and retreated westward toward Harrisonburg, the seat of Catahoula Parish. "The Confederates unreasonable fear of gunboats had been insurmountable, and Waterproof remained in Federal hands," explained historian John D. Winters in his The Civil War in Louisiana (1963).[1]

Demographics

As of the census [2] of 2000, there were 834 people, 353 households, and 194 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,197.9 people per square mile (460.0/km²). There were 427 housing units at an average density of 613.3/sq mi (235.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 11.87% White, 87.41% African American, and 0.72% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.96% of the population.

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