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Ascension Parish, Louisiana

US county information
NameAscension Parish
StateLouisiana
SeatDonaldsonville
Largest cityGonzales
US Area
Total Area303 sq mi (784.8 km2)
Land Area292 sq mi (756.3 km2)
Water Area11 sq mi (28.5 km2)
Population107215 (2010)
Density101.5/km2 (263/sq mi)
Named forAscension of Our Lord Church in Donaldsonville
Time zoneCentral
Time zoneCentral: UTC-6/-5: -6/-5

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Ascension Parish ( ) is a parish located in the U.S. state of Louisiana. It is the fastest growing parish in the state. Its population is 107,215 which is 39.9% greater than the 2000 census. One of the major reasons for parish growth is the number of families wanting to move their children from the East Baton Rouge Parish public schools to the higher-performing Ascension public school system, which is the best school system in Louisiana.

Ascension Parish is part of the Baton Rouge Metropolitan Statistical Area as well as the Baton Rouge - Pierre Part Combined Statistical Area.

During the American Civil War, desertions had been of major concern to the Confederacy. Henry Watkins Allen, before he was governor, reported more than eight thousand deserters and draft-dodgers about Bayou Teche. There were some 1,200 deserters in Livingston, St. Tammany, and Ascension parishes. Planters in Ascension Parish later complained of raids by guerrillas. In 1864, planter W.R. Hodges requested soldiers to protect the planted fields from such attacks. Union soldiers were accused of "wandering about at will, and helping themselves . . . to whatever could be found," explains the historian John D. Winters in his The Civil War in Louisiana (1963).


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