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Happy Summer!!

Wherever Home is Parked?

Wherever Home is Parked?

Friday, February 1, 2013

Vicksburg update

Vicksburg, MS  1-5-13 continued … Warning long post and lots of pictures

We woke up to a beautiful day!  The sun is shining here in Ajo, Az and it’s warming up nicely.  In fact I was able to open the windows and door and let the sun shine in!  Now this is how my winter is suppose to be.  I’m suppose to be basking in the warmth while everyone else is back in Illinois freezing! 

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I took the dogs on a nice long walk, hubby and I had planned to head to plaza after lunch but we had a visit from Dave (from the church) so we sat outside and enjoyed the sunshine while enjoying a visit with our new friend Dave.  After he left we headed to Plaza to walk around but everything had closed up already.  Oh well there is always tomorrow.  We stopped the IGA store to see what was on sale and purchased some needed items and then we came home and took the dogs on a nice evening walk. 

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I got the cd that Diane sent me of the pictures from Vicksburg, Ms, when we arrived here.  I just haven’t had time to upload them.  Even though it was cold and raining we still headed to Ms to see one of the cities on my bucket list.  Of course Mississippi is one of our favorite states.  First on our list was the visitor center to get some information. 

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Here we are with Tommy and Diane outside the visitor center with the bridge in the back ground

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Next we headed to the Military park which is a national park .. Tommy is a veteran so he used his pass to get us in free, of course I have a Golden Access pass so we still could have gotten in free Smile

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This fine gentleman greeted us and on our way we went

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we went inside first to check things out

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we watched a video to give us some history

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Since we didn’t do anything interesting today, today’s blog post is going to be a history lesson.  If your not interested in reading that part, just scroll through the pictures to the bottom where I finish today’s daily journal.  I post in red where my journal picks back up

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Vicksburg is the Key!

At the time of the Civil War, the Mississippi River was the single most important economic feature of the continent — the very lifeblood of America. Upon the secession of the southern states, Confederate forces closed the river to navigation, which threatened to strangle northern commercial interests.

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resident Abraham Lincoln told his civilian and military leaders, "See what a lot of land these fellows hold, of which Vicksburg is the key! The war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket...We can take all the northern ports of the Confederacy, and they can defy us from Vicksburg." Lincoln assured his listeners that "I am acquainted with that region and know what I am talking about, and as valuable as New Orleans will be to us, Vicksburg will be more so."

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was imperative for the administration in Washington to regain control of the lower Mississippi River, thereby opening that important avenue of commerce, and enabling the rich agricultural produce of the Northwest to reach world markets.

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It would also split the South in two, sever a vital Confederate supply line, achieve a major objective of the Anaconda Plan, and effectively seal the doom of Richmond. In the spring of 1863, Major General Ulysses S. Grant launched his Union Army of the Tennessee on a campaign to pocket Vicksburg and provide Mr. Lincoln with the key to victory.

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Grant's March (March 29-April 30)

For the Union, the spring of 1863 signaled the beginning of the final and successful phase of the Vicksburg Campaign as General Grant initiated the march of his Army of the Tennessee down the west side of the Mississippi River, from Milliken's Bend to Hard Times, Louisiana. Leaving their encampments on March 29, Federal soldiers took up the line of march and slogged southward over muddy terrain, building bridges and corduroy roads as they went. Grant's column pushed first to New Carthage, then to Hard Times, where the infantrymen rendezvoused with the Union navy.

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On April 16, while Grant's army marched south through Louisiana, part of the Union fleet, commanded by Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter, prepared to run by the Vicksburg batteries. At 9:15 p.m., lines were cast off and the vessels moved away from their anchorage above the city with engines muffled and all lights extinguished to conceal their movement.

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As the boats rounded De Soto Point, they were spotted by Confederate lookouts who spread the alarm. Bales of cotton soaked in turpentine and barrels of tar lining the shore, were set on fire by the Southerners to illuminate the river. Although each vessel was hit repeatedly, Porter's fleet successfully fought its way past the Confederate batteries losing only one transport, and headed downriver to the rendezvous with Grant on the Louisiana shore south of Vicksburg.

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It was Grant's intention to force a crossing of the river at Grand Gulf, and move on "Fortress Vicksburg" from the south. For five hours on April 29, the Union fleet bombarded the Grand Gulf defenses in an attempt to silence the Confederate guns and prepare the way for a landing. The fleet, however, sustained heavy damage and failed to achieve its objective. Admiral Porter declared, "Grand Gulf is the strongest place on the Mississippi."

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Not wishing to have his transports loaded with troops attempt a landing in the face of enemy fire, Grant disembarked his command and continued the march south along the levee.

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Bruinsburg Crossing (April 30-May 1)

Undaunted by his failure at Grand Gulf, Grant moved farther south in search of a more favorable crossing point. Looking now to cross his army at Rodney, Grant was informed that there was a good road ascending the bluffs east of Bruinsburg. Seizing the opportunity, the Union commander transported his army across the mighty river and onto Mississippi soil at Bruinsburg on April 30—May 1, 1863. In the early morning hours of April 30, infantrymen of the 24th and 46th Indiana Regiments stepped ashore on Mississippi soil at Bruinsburg. The invasion had begun.

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The landing was made unopposed and, as the men came ashore, a band aboard the U.S.S. Benton struck up "The Red, White, and Blue." The Hoosiers were quickly followed by the remainder of the XIII Union Army Corps and portions of the XVII Corps — 17,000 men. This landing was the largest amphibious operation in American military history until the Allied invasion of Normandy during World War II. Elements of the Union army pushed inland and took possession of the bluffs, thereby securing the landing area. By late afternoon of April 30, 17,000 soldiers were ashore and the march inland began. Moving away from the landing area at Bruinsburg, the Federal soldiers rested and ate their crackers in the shade of the trees on Windsor Plantation. Late that afternoon the decision was made to push on that night by a forced march in hopes of surprising the Confederates and preventing them from destroying the bridges over Bayou Pierre. The Union columns resumed the advance at 5:30 p.m., but instead of taking the Bruinsburg Road — the most direct road from the landing area to Port Gibson — Grant's columns swung onto the Rodney Road, passing Bethel Church and marching through the night.

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Bethel Presbyterian Church is one of the few remaining landmarks associated with the battle of Port Gibson. Built around 1826, the church played a significant role in the expansion of Presbyterianism into the Old Southwest. The present structure dates to the mid-1840s. Although the slave gallery has been removed and the original pointed steeple destroyed by a tornado (1943), the church retains the classical symmetry of the Greek Revival style.

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This section of the Rodney Road has changed little since the days of the Civil War. Imagine soldiers marching down this road, tightly packed in columns of four, the stillness of the night broken by the sounds of their marching feet, clanking accouterments, and the rumbling of wagons and artillery pieces. It was a clear, moon-lit night, and tension and fear were in the air, for these soldiers knew they were on enemy soil and that enemy was near, but where? As they marched along in the late night hours many of the soldiers dozed. One bluecoat recalled the night march as being "romantic in the extreme."

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(Note: The village of Bruinsburg was established in 1796 and quickly became a landing of great importance. It was here that young Andrew Jackson, future President of the United States, established a small trading post. The advent of the Civil War brought a decline in river traffic which resulted in the economic collapse of Bruinsburg. By 1865 the town was extinct. The former town site is now private property.)

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On April 30, 1863, the Confederate brigades of Brigadier Generals Martin Green and Edward Tracy marched south along the Bruinsburg Road to contest the Union invasion of Mississippi. The next day, May 1, the brigades of Brigadier General William Baldwin and Cololnel Francis Cockrell hastened out the Bruinsburg road to reinforce the Confederate troops then heavily engaged with Grant's forces. Late in the afternoon of May 1, Baldwin's men would retire from the field along the road into Port Gibson followed by the victorious Union soldiers.

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Confederate troops were deployed to block both the Rodney and Bruinsburg Roads west of Port Gibson. At the point of deployment, an interval of 2,000 yards separated the roads. The brigades of Tracy, on the right, and Green, on the left, were separated by a deep cane-choked ravine which prevented one flank from reinforcing the other flank. To do so, the Confederates had to march back to the road junction. The "Y" intersection of the roads was thus the lateral avenue of movement for the Confederates.


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Between 1802 and 1807 Bayou Pierre Presbyterian Church was built near this prominent point overlooking Bayou Pierre. A reconstruction of this crude log church stands on the site today. On the morning of May 1, 1863, the right flank of Brigadier General Edward Tracy's Alabama Brigade rested on this point. The thin gray line ran southeastward for 1,000 yards, paralleling the Bruinsburg Road. Shortly after 8 a.m. the Confederate skirmishers began to fall back and the main line opened fire.

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It was at this time, recalled Sargeant Francis Obenchain of the Botetourt (Virginia) Artillery, that while speaking with General Tracy, "a ball struck him on back of the neck passing through. He fell with great force on his face and in falling cried `O Lord!' He was dead when I stooped to him." Edward Tracy was the first of several Confederate generals to die in defense of Vicksburg. Even so, the Confederates held their tenuous line all morning against heavy Federal pressure.

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The Alabamans were reinforced in the afternoon by Martin E. Green's brigade which extended the line eastward. The Confederates handled their weapons with grim determination and skill, but it was evident their line was slowly giving way. Late in the afternoon the Federals managed to turn the Confederate flank at the overlook. Unable to stem the blue tide along both the Bruinsburg Road and the Rodney Road, the Confederates retired from the field.

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Shortly after midnight the crash of musketry shattered the stillness as the Federals stumbled upon Confederate outposts near the A. K. Shaifer house. Union troops immediately deployed for battle, and their artillery, which soon arrived, roared into action. A spirited skirmish ensued which lasted until 3 a.m, with the Confederates holding their ground. For the next several hours an uneasy calm settled over the woods and scattered fields as soldiers of both armies rested on their arms. Throughout the night the Federals gathered their forces in hand and both sides prepared for the battle which they knew would come with the rising sun.

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At dawn, Union troops began to move in force along the Rodney Road toward Magnolia Church. One division was sent along a connecting plantation road toward the Bruinsburg Road and the Confederate right flank. With skirmishers well ahead, the Federals began a slow and deliberate advance around 5:30 a.m. The Confederates contested the thrust and the battle began in earnest.
Most of the Union forces moved along the Rodney Road toward Magnolia Church and the Confederate line held by Brigadier General Martin E. Green's Brigade. Heavily outnumbered and hard-pressed, the Confederates gave way shortly after 10:00 a.m. The men in butternut and gray fell back a mile and a half. Here the soldiers of Brigadier General William E. Baldwin's and Colonel Francis M. Cockrell's brigades, recent arrivals on the field, established a new line between White and Irwin branches of Willow Creek. Full of fight, these men re-established the Confederate left flank.

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The morning hours witnessed Green's Brigade driven from its position by the principle Federal attack. Brigadier General Edward D. Tracy's Alabama Brigade, astride the Bruinsburg Road, also experienced hard fighting. Although Tracy was killed early in the action, his brigade managed to hold its tenuous line.

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It was clear, however, that unless the Confederates received heavy reinforcements, they would lose the day. Brigadier General John S. Bowen, Confederate commander on the field, wired his superiors: "We have been engaged in a furious battle ever since daylight; losses very heavy. The men act nobly, but the odds are overpowering." Early afternoon found the Alabamans slowly giving ground. Green's weary soldiers, having been regrouped, arrived to bolster the line on the Bruinsburg Road.

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Even so, by late in the afternoon, the Federals had advanced all along the line in superior numbers. As Union pressure built, Cockrell's Missourians unleashed a vicious counterattack near the Rodney Road, and began to roll up the blue line. The 6th Missouri also counterattacked, hitting the Federals near the Bruinsburg Road. All this was to no avail, for the odds against them were too great. The Confederates were checked and driven back, the day lost. At 5:30 p.m., battle-weary Confederates began to retire from the hard-fought field.

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The battle of Port Gibson cost Grant 131 killed, 719 wounded, and 25 missing out of 23,000 men engaged. This victory not only secured his position on Mississippi soil, but enabled him to launch his campaign deeper into the interior of the state. Union victory at Port Gibson forced the Confederate evacuation of Grand Gulf and would ultimately result in the fall of Vicksburg.

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The Confederates suffered 60 killed, 340 wounded, and 387 missing out of 8,000 men engaged. In addition, 4 guns of the Botetourt (Virginia) Artillery were lost. The action at Port Gibson underscored Confederate inability to defend the line of the Mississippi River and to respond to amphibious operations. Confederate soldiers from these operations are buried at Wintergreen Cemetery in Port Gibson.

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Grant's Army Pushes Inland (May 2-11)

To support the army's push inland, Grant established a base on the Mississippi River at Grand Gulf. Contrary to assertions by modern-day historians, the Union army relied heavily on the Grand Gulf supply base to sustain its movements in Mississippi. Only after reaching Vicksburg and re-establishing contact with the fleet on the Yazoo River, did Grant abandon this vital supply line.
Instead of marching directly on Vicksburg from the south, Grant marched his army in a northeasterly direction, his left flank protected by the Big Black River. It was his intention to strike the Southern Railroad of Mississippi somewhere between Vicksburg and Jackson. Destruction of the railroad would cut Pemberton's supply and communications lines, and isolate Vicksburg. As the Federal force moved inland, McClernand's Corps was positioned on the left, Sherman's in the center, and McPherson's on the right.

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On the morning of May 12, 1863, Major General James B. McPherson's XVII Corps marched along the road from Utica toward Raymond. Shortly before 10:00 a.m., the Union skirmish line crested a ridge, and moved cautiously through open fields into the valley of Fourteen Mile Creek, southwest of Raymond. Suddenly a deadly volley ripped into their ranks from the woods lining the nearly dry stream.

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As the battle progressed, McPherson massed 22 guns astride the road to support his infantry, while Confederate artillery also roared into action, announcing the presence of Brigadier General John Gregg's battle-hardened brigade. The ever-combative Gregg decided to strike with his 3,000-man brigade, turn the Federal right flank, and capture the entire force. Faulty intelligence led Gregg to believe that he faced only a small Union force, when in reality McPherson's 10,000-man corps was on the road before him.

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ion brigades continued to arrive on the field and deploy in line of battle on either side of the Utica road. In piecemeal fashion, McPherson's men pushed forward at 1:30 p.m., driving the Confederates back across Fourteen Mile Creek. The ensuing fight was of the most confused nature, for neither commander knew where their units were or what they were doing.
However, Union strength of numbers prevailed. The Confederate right flank along the Utica road broke under renewed pressure, and Gregg had no alternative but to retire from the field. His regiments retreated through Raymond along the Jackson Road, bivouacking for the night near Snake Creek. There was no Federal pursuit as McPherson's troops bedded down for the night in and around the town.

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The fight at Raymond cost Gregg 73 killed, 252 wounded, and 190 missing, most of whom were from the 3rd Tennessee and the 7th Texas. McPherson's losses totaled 446 of whom 68 were killed, 341 wounded, and 37 missing.

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Battle of Jackson (May 14)

The engagement at Raymond led Grant to change the direction of his army's march and move on Jackson, the state capital. It was the Union general's intention to destroy the important rail and communications center in the city, and scatter any Confederate reinforcements which might be moving toward Vicksburg. McPherson's Corps moved north through Raymond to Clinton on May 13, while Major General William T. Sherman pushed northeast through Raymond to Mississippi Springs. To cover the march on Jackson, Major General John A. McClernand's Corps was placed in a defensive postion on a line from Raymond to Clinton.

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Late on the afternoon of May 13, as the Federals were poised to strike at Jackson, a train arrived in the capital city carrying Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston, ordered to the city by President Jefferson Davis to salvage the rapidly deteriorating situation in Mississippi. Establishing his headquarters at the Bowman House, General Johnston was apprised of troop strength and the condition of the fortifications around Jackson. He immediately wired authorities in Richmond, "I am too late," and instead of fighting for Jackson, ordered the city evacuated. John Gregg was ordered to fight a delaying action to cover the evacuation.

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A heavy rain fell during the night, turning the roads into mud. Advancing slowly through the torrential downpour, the corps of Sherman and McPherson converged on Jackson by mid-morning of May 14. Around 9 a.m., the lead elements of McPherson's corps were fired upon by Confederate artillery posted on the O. P. Wright farm. Quickly deploying his men into line of battle, the Union corps commander prepared to attack. Suddenly, the rain fell in sheets and threatened to ruin the ammunition of his men by soaking the powder in their cartridge-boxes. The attack was postponed until the rain stopped around 11:00 a.m. The Federals then advanced with bayonets fixed and banners unfurled. Clashing with the Confederates in a bitter hand-to-hand struggle, McPherson's men forced the Southerners back into the fortifications of Jackson.

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Meanwhile, Sherman's corps reached Lynch Creek southwest of Jackson at 11 a.m. and was immediately fired upon by Confederate artillery posted in the open fields north of the stream. Union cannon were hurried into position, and in short order drove the Confederates back into the city's defenses. The stream was unfordable, forcing Sherman's men to cross on a narrow wooden bridge. Reforming their lines, the Federals advanced at 2:00 p.m. until they were stopped by canister fire. Not wishing to expose his men to the deadly fire, Sherman sent one regiment to the right (east) in search of a weak spot in the defense line. These men reached the works and found them mainly deserted, with only a handful of state troops and civilian volunteers left to man the guns in Sherman's front.

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At 2:00 p.m., Gregg was notified that the army's supply train had left Jackson and decided to withdraw his command. The Confederates moved quickly to evacuate the city and were well out the Canton Road to the north when Union troops entered Jackson around 3 p.m.. The "Stars and Stripes" were unfurled atop the capitol by McPherson's men, symbolic of Union victory.

Confederate casualties in the Battle of Jackson were not accurately reported, but were estimated at 845 killed, wounded, and missing. In addition, 17 artillery pieces were taken by the Federals. Union casualties totaled 300 men, of whom 42 were killed, 251 wounded, and 7 missing.

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Not wishing to waste combat troops on occupation, Grant ordered Jackson neutralized militarily. The torch was applied to machine shops and factories, telegraph lines were cut, and railroad tracks destroyed. With Jackson's resources rendered ineffective, and Johnston's force scattered to the winds, Grant turned with confidence toward his objective to the west — Vicksburg.

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Battle of Big Black River Bridge (May 17)

Pemberton ordered Bowen's division, and a fresh brigade commanded by Brigadier General John Vaughn, to hold the bridges across Big Black River long enough for General Loring to cross. Unbeknownst to Pemberton, however, Loring was not marching toward the river, but instead northeast, to join with the forces of General Johnston. Federal troops appeared early in the morning and prepared to storm the defenses, with McClernand's XIII Corps quickly deploying along the road and Union artillery opening on the Confederate fortifications with solid shot and shell.

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The Confederate line was naturally strong, and formed an arc with its left flank resting on Big Black River and the right flank on Gin Lake. A bayou of waist-deep water fronted a portion of the line, and 18 cannon were placed to sweep the flat open ground to the east. As both sides prepared for battle, Union troops took advantage of terrain features and Brigadier General Mike Lawler, on the Federal right, deployed his men in a meander scar not far from the Southern line of defense.

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Believing that his men could cover the intervening ground quickly, and with little loss, Lawler boldly ordered his troops to fix bayonets and charge. With a mighty cheer the Federals swept across the open ground, through the bayou, and over the parapets. From beginning to end, the charge lasted three minutes.

Overwhelmed by the charge, Confederate soldiers threw down their rifle-muskets and ran toward the bridges across the river. In the panic and confusion of defeat, many Confederate soldiers attempted to swim across the river and drowned. Luckily, Pemberton's chief engineer, Major Samuel Lockett, set the bridges on fire, effectively cutting off pursuit by the victorious Union army. Badly shaken, the Confederates staggered back into the Vicksburg defenses and prepared to resist the Union onslaught.

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Confederate losses at the Big Black River Bridge were not accurately reported, but 1,751 men, 18 cannon, and 5 battleflags were captured by the Federals. Union casualties totaled only 279 men, of whom 39 were killed, 237 wounded, and 3 missing. Grant's forces bridged the river at three locations and, flushed with victory, pushed hard toward Vicksburg on May 18.

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First Assault on the Vicksburg Defenses (May 19)

Anxious for a quick victory, Grant made a hasty reconnaissance of the Vicksburg defenses and ordered an assault. Of his three corps, however, only one was in proper position to make the attack — Sherman's corps along the Graveyard Road, northeast of Vicksburg. Early on the morning of May 19, Union artillery opened fire and bombarded the Confederate works with solid shot and shell.

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With lines neatly dressed and their battle flags blowing in the breeze above them, Sherman's troops surged across the rugged terrain at 2:00 p.m., through abatis (obstructions of felled trees) laid out by the Confederates, toward Stockade Redan. Although the men of the 1st Battalion, 13th United States Infantry, planted their colors on the exterior slope of Stockade Redan (a powerful Confederate fort which guarded the road), the attack was repulsed with Federal losses numbering 1,000 men.

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Second Assault on the Vicksburg Defenses (May 22)Logan's Approach Along Old Jackson Road

Undaunted by his failure on the 19th, but realizing that he had been too hasty, Grant made a more thorough reconnaissance of the Vicksburg defenses prior to ordering another assault. Early on the morning of May 22, Union artillery opened fire, and for four hours bombarded the city's defenses. Then, at 10:00 a.m. the guns fell silent along the entire Federal, and Union infantry was thrown forward along a three-mile front. Sherman attacked once again down the Graveyard Road, McPherson in the center along the Jackson Road, and McClernand on the south along the Baldwin Ferry Road and each side of the Southern Railroad of Mississippi. Although flags of all three corps were planted at different points along the exterior slopes of the Confederate fortifications, and McClernand's troops were able to make a short-lived penetration at Railroad Redoubt, the Federals were again driven back, sustaining losses in excess of 3,000 men.

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Siege of Vicksburg (May 26-July 3)

Following the failure of the May 22 assault, Grant realized Vicksburg could not be taken by force, and decided to lay siege to the city. Slowly his army established a line of works around the beleaguered city and cut off all supplies and communications from the outside world. Commencing May 26, Union forces constructed thirteen approaches along their front aimed at different points along the Confederate defense line. Their objective was to dig up to the Confederate works, then tunnel underneath them, plant charges of black powder, and destroy the fortifications. Union troops would then be able to surge through the breaches and gain entrance to Vicksburg.

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Throughout the month of June, Union troops expanded their approaches slowly toward the Confederate defenses. Protected by the fire of sharpshooters and artillery, Grant's fatigue parties neared their objectives by late June. On June 25, along the Jackson Road, a mine was detonated beneath the Third Louisiana Redan, and Federal soldiers swarmed into the crater attempting to exploit the breach in the city's defenses.

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The struggle raged for 26 hours during which clubbed muskets and bayonets were freely used, as the Confederates fought with grim determination to deny their enemy access to Vicksburg. The troops in blue were finally driven back at the point of bayonet and the breach sealed. On July 1, a second mine was detonated but not followed by an infantry assault.

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Throughout June the gallant, but weary, defenders of Vicksburg suffered from reduced rations, exposure to the elements, and constant bombardment of enemy guns. Reduced in number by sickness and battle casualties, the garrison of Vicksburg was spread dangerously thin. Soldiers and citizens alike began to despair that help would ever come. At Jackson and Canton, General Johnston gathered a relief force, which finally took up the line of march toward Vicksburg on July 1. But by then it was too late, as time had run out for the fortress on the Mississippi River.

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Surrender (July 4)

On the hot afternoon of July 3, 1863, a cavalcade of horsemen in gray rode out from the city along the Jackson Road. Soon white flags appeared on the city's defenses as General Pemberton rode beyond the works to meet with his adversary — General Grant. The two officers dismounted between the lines, not far from the Third Louisiana Redan, and sat in the shade of a stunted oak tree to discuss surrender terms. Unable to reach an agreement, the two men returned to their respective headquarters. Telling Pemberton he would have his final terms by 10 p.m., Grant was true to his word, and his final amended terms were forwarded to Pemberton that night. Instead of an unconditional surrender of the city and garrison, Grant offered parole to the valiant defenders of Vicksburg. Pemberton and his generals agreed that these were the best terms that could be had, and in the quiet of his headquarters on Crawford Street, the decision was made to surrender the city.

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At 10 a.m., on July 4, white flags were again displayed from the Confederate works, and the brave men in gray marched out of their entrenchments, stacked their arms, removed their accouterments, and furled their flags. The victorious Union army now marched in and took possession the city.

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When informed of the fall of Vicksburg, President Lincoln exclaimed, "The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea."

The fall of Vicksburg, coupled with the defeat of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in the battle of Gettysburg fought over July 1-3, 1863, marked the turning point of the Civil War.

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By the end of June, General Pemberton realized his situation was desperate. The hope of relief by General Johnston's army had quickly disappeared. Over 10,000 soldiers in Pemberton's Army of Vicksburg were incapacitated due to illness, wounds, and malnutrition. His supplies and munitions were at critically low levels. He learned that Grant was preparing for another massive assault on the Confederate works in early July.

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After a meeting with his division commanders, Pemberton concluded that surrender was inevitable. On the morning of July 3, 1863, he gave orders to display a white flag of truce, and sent representatives to deliver a message to General Grant proposing a meeting to discuss surrender terms. Grant agreed and at 3:00 p.m., Generals Grant and Pemberton met under the shade of an oak tree midway between the opposing lines.

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he commanders could not reach an agreement, but discussions among subordinate officers, and an exchange of notes between Grant and Pemberton late in the day, brought about agreement for final terms of surrender.  The next morning, July 4, the Confederate defenders marched out of their trenches, stacked their arms, and were paroled. After 47 days, the siege of Vicksburg was over.
The last 'wallpaper' edition of the Vicksburg Citizen, still set on the presses when Grant's troops entered the city, stated:
"Ulysses must get into the city before he dines in it. The way to cook a rabbit is 'first to catch the rabbit, &c..."
A 'Note' added by the Federal forces which entered Vicksburg on the 4th continued:

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"Two days bring about great changes. The banner of the Union floats over Vicksburg. General Grant has 'caught the rabbit.' He has dined in Vicksburg and he did bring his dinner with him..."

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History Lesson over … This boat had been sunk and it was brought up out of the water and put on display.  It was neat to walk around it and explore and imagine what it was like being on it. 

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It was still raining and cold so we skipped the cemetery and I would have loved to of went through the Illinois memorial.  We were told that it has the list of all the men who died inside.   I was disappointed with the weather but it gives us excuse to return and explore on a better day in the future.  I still have more from our day in Vicksburg, but I will finish it another day. 


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We had originally planned to go to Pizza Hut for dinner tonight as neither of us wanted to cook but after going to the store they had the good pizza’s on sale and we could get one for half the cost so that is what we did for dinner tonight.  It was good too. 

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The rest of the evening was spent relaxing and enjoying a quiet evening at home. 

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Hope you had a good day where ever you are