Battle for the Mississippi: The Vicksburg Campaign

Battle for the Mississippi: The Vicksburg Campaign (HM14WP)

Location: Tallulah, LA 71282 Madison Parish
Country: United States of America

N 32° 19.534', W 90° 59.391'

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??The fall of New Orleans in April1862, capped the beginning of an 18-month driveto control Vicksburg and the Mississippi River.The fight for this strategic location was arduous. Vicksburg, sitting high atop bluffs, was protected by artillery and a maze of bayous. Confederateriver fortifications interrupted the flow ofNorthern troops, supplies and commerce.

Driving southward from Tennessee andnorthward from the Gulf, Federal troops forced the surrender of Vicksburg. With thisvictory, the North opened the Mississippi anddealt a psychological blow to the Confederacy. The South was split in two and unable to movemen and munitions across the river. While war's end was still 20 months away, control of thegreat Mississippi led ultimately to Union victory.

(Map included)

(Right side text)

An 18-Month Campaign

The battle for Vicksburg hit a fevered pitch whenUlysses S. Grant was appointed commander ofthe Department of the Tennessee and Lt. Gen.John C. Pemberton, a West Point graduate andnative of Pennsylvania, was given charge of 50,000Confederate troops defending the Mississippi.Grant was ordered to clear the river of Confederateresistance and Pemberton to defend it.

Grant planned to draw Confederate troops defending Vicksburg north and pin them down while another column. led by Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, moved moved south from Memphis. Grant led 40,000 troops from La Grange, Tennessee, toward Grenada, Mississippi, but met fierce resistance from Confederate forces dug into the Yalobusha riverbank to defend the crossing and the railroad. Grant's plan was thwarted.

Confederate cavalry, led by Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn, headed northward from Grenada, captured the Federal supply base at Holly Springs, Mississippi, and stopped the Union advance. The Mobile & Ohio Railroad carrying Northern supplies fell to Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest's raiders. These events caused Grant to retreat to Memphis. Confederate troops heading south toward Vicksburg engaged and decisively beat, Sherman's forces at Chickasaw Bayou.

Grant launched yet another drive to disrupt Southern communications and transportation, confuse the Confederates, and divert Pemberton's troops. He led his troops 50 miles down the west side of the river from Milliken's Bend, Louisiana to Hard Times. At the same time, Union Col. Benjamin H. Grierson led a brigade of 1,700 cavalry from La Grange through Mississippi to Baton Rouge destroying rolling stock, bridges, trestles, track and telegraph lines during this 16-day, 475-mile ride. He also succeeded in luring Pemberton's cavalry and one infantry division in pursuit.

With Grant in southern Louisiana, Adm. David D. Porter maneuvered his gunboats into place to secure the river at Grand Gulf, forcing Grant farther down river to cross at Bruinsburg. Grant fought his way towards Vicksburg on the eastern side of the river, overwhelming and scattering Confederate troops. With these victories to buoy his resolve, Grant began the final siege of Vicksburg with Confederate surrender coming on July 4, 1863. Five days later Port Hudson fell and the domination of the Mississippi River was complete.

(Bottom) 1862 - 1863 Timeline
1862
North May18
Farragut calls for surrender of Vicksburg
South May 18
Vicksburg refuses demand

North June
Farragut steams upriver past Vicksburg

North July
Brown and Arkansas launch surprise attack against Farragat's fleetSouth July
Farragut retreats to New Orleans

North Sept
Federal divisions sent to reinforce Buell at Louisville
South Sept
Bragg sweeps across Tennessee to Louisville, KY

North Sept
Grant orders attacks from north and south against Price at Iuka
South Sept
Confederate force moves from Baldwyn to Iuka, MI [ sic] to deter Federal divisions

South Sept
Confederates evacuate Iuka and return to Baldwyn

South Oct
Van Dorn suffers defeat by Union at Corinth

North Oct
Grant appointed to secure the Mississippi for Union
South Oct
Pemberton appointed to defend Mississippi

North Nov
Grant marches from Grand Junction, TN into southern Mississippi along Mississippi Central Railroad

North Nov
Sherman pushes down Mississippi River toward Vicksburg
South Nov
Pemberton successfully defends river and railroad at Grenada

South Dec
Van Dorn captures Federal supply base at Holly Springs

South Dec
Forrest secures the Mobile & Ohio Railroad

North Dec
Grant retreats to Memphis
South Dec
Confederate troops repel Sherman at Chickasaw Bayou

1863
North Jan-Feb
Grant launches unsuccessful Bayou Expedition

North Mar
Grant begins march from Milliken's Bend south through Louisiana to Hard Times

North April
Grieson marches from La Grange, TN through Mississippi to Baton Rouge

North April
Porter's gunboats unsuccessfully bombard Confederate forts at Grand Gulf

North May
Grant continues south and crosses river at Bruinsburg
South MayPemberton's forces attempt to defend Port Gibson and retreat to Vicksburg

North May
Grant defeats Confederate force at Port Gibson, Raymond and captures Jackson

North May
Grant moves along Southern Railroad toward Vicksburg with victories at Champion Hill and Big Black River Bridge

North May
Grant and Porter assault Vicksburg and are repulsed

North June
Grant and Porter continue the siege of Vicksburg by land and sea

South July 4
Pemberton surrenders Vicksburg
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HM NumberHM14WP
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Date Added Tuesday, October 21st, 2014 at 6:43pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 689212 N 3578298
Decimal Degrees32.32556667, -90.98985000
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 32° 19.534', W 90° 59.391'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds32° 19' 32.04" N, 90° 59' 23.46" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)318
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 19 Unnamed Road, Tallulah LA 71282, US
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