My Confidence Has Not Been Diminished – Davis Comforts a Distraught Pemberton

August 9, 1863 (Sunday) Though Confederate President Jefferson Davis would not receive General Lee’s submission of resignation for another day or so, in writing to another crestfallen General, John Pemberton, he was able to gather his thoughts, and reflect on what he and his new country needed in military commanders. Following the surrender of VicksburgRead More

It Would Be Madness to Attack Him – Joe Johnston Abandonds Jackson

July 16, 1863 (Thursday) There had been three main Confederate forces operating along the Mississippi River through May and June. With the surrender of both Vicksburg and Port Hudson, all that was left was 30,000 troops from General Joe Johnston’s so-called Army of Relief. They had been quickly thrown together from all across the ConfederacyRead More

Do the Enemy All the Harm Possible – Sherman Lunges at Johnston

July 6, 1863 (Monday) William Tecumseh Sherman was not at Vicksburg when it was surrendered to the Federals under General Grant. He had been ordered to head up a force of 34,000 troops sent towards the east to find Confederate General Joe Johnston. As the paroled Vicksburg Rebels under John Pemberton stacked arms and marchedRead More

The Unconditional Surrender of Vicksburg, Mississippi and Its Garrison

July 4, 1863 (Saturday) Confederate General John S. Bowen was, it seems, a sneaky fellow. Though he was a true Southern patriot, he knew in his heart that Vicksburg had to be surrendered. If neither Union General Ulysses S. Grant nor the Army of Mississippi’s commander, John Pemberton wanted to break the ice, he wouldRead More

General Grant Finally Rids Himself of McClernand

June 18, 1863 (Thursday) It all started during the failed attack by General Grant’s forces upon the Confederate defenses at Vicksburg, Mississippi. Grant had launched an all-out assault, sending all three of his present corps against the enemy’s works. From the Federal left, General John McClernand sent word that he needed reinforcements, that he hadRead More

Confederates Clumsily Attack Near Vicksburg, Kill and Carry Off Scores of Black Troops

June 7, 1863 (Sunday) The Union investment of Port Hudson, Louisiana and Vicksburg, Mississippi by Generals Banks and Grant not only surrounded two Confederate forces, it inadvertently distracted the Rebels in Arkansas and Western Louisiana. Commanded by Kirby Smith, the Trans-Mississippi Department’s eastern border was the Mississippi River. At this point, both Union forces wereRead More

General McClernand Officially Blames Grant

June 1, 1863 (Monday) It appears that things in the east may just be heating up. Therefore, dear readers, it might be a good time to check back in on Generals Grant way out west. Following Grant’s failed May 22 assault upon John Pemberton’s defenses at Vicksburg, a lull descended over the land, at leastRead More

Grant’s Failed Second Assault upon Vicksburg

May 22, 1863 (Friday) General Grant’s attack upon the Vicksburg defenses on the 19th had not gone well at all. Nothing was gained because two of his three corps were not ready to launch an attack. Taking a couple of days to rethink the plan, the approaches, and to allow his men to crawl intoRead More

Johnston: ‘I am Trying to Gather a Force to Relieve You’

May 20, 1863 (Wednesday) In the battle for Vicksburg, Mississippi, there were two very divergent and contradictory Confederate strategies at work. General John Pemberton, who had commanded the Army of Mississippi in the field while Grant’s Federals gallivanted across the state, believed that Vicksburg itself was the key. The city had to be saved, otherwiseRead More

Grant’s Failed First Assault upon Vicksburg

May 19, 1863 (Tuesday) General Grant rightly believed it had been a rout. The Rebels under John Pemberton were divided and thrown back at Champion Hill, and then soundly thrashed the next day at Big Black River Bridge. In their short tramp to the defenses of Vicksburg, Pemberton’s Confederates shed stragglers in droves. They wereRead More