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 (1861-1865) Civil War Battles (Western Theater)    
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anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/3/2017 9:57:29 AM
In the summer of 1863, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee converged on Vicksburg on the Mississippi River, investing the city and trapping a Confederate army under Lt. Gen. John Pemberton.

The city was located on a high bluff, and Union occupation of the town was critical to control of the strategic river. Grant's bold 6-week campaign began in early June and took his army south through Arkansas opposite Vicksburg, crossed the river 30 miles below the city, captured the Mississippi capital of Jackson, turned west and pushed Pemberton's army into Vicksburg.


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Regards

Jim
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anemone
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/3/2017 12:25:39 PM
Early in the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln, gesturing to a map of the region, declared to his military advisors that "Vicksburg is the key" and that the failure to capture this city meant "hog and hominy without limit, fresh troops from all the states of the far South [for the Confederacy."

For not only would the capture of Vicksburg benefit the commercial interests and military operations of the Union, but Vicksburg was also a vital logistical link to the resource-rich Trans-Mississippi.

Source -See link in previous post

Regards

Jim
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Michigan Dave
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/3/2017 12:33:05 PM
Hi Jim,

Your right many historians say that Vicksburg was the most important victory for the Union. For sure July 4th, 1863 was the greatest day for the Union.

Good point,
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

John R. Price
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/3/2017 11:57:56 PM
Jim,

The chain of command for the Confederacy in the West looked like Joe Johnston was in overall command but he really wasn't because the individual Department commanders like Pemberton at Vicksburg took their orders from Richmond and were only to follow Johnstons's if they didn't conflict with those coming from Richmond.

Also Champion Hill is a lot more complicated and touch and go than that article states by a long shot. For one Grant really never brought his superiority in numbers to bear and second you really have to understand the disharmony in command within the AOM to start with.


---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


anemone
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/4/2017 4:57:17 AM
Thank you John for ringing to my attention the frailties within the Union Army at this time.

Champion Hill was a bloody and decisive Union victory. In his Personal Memoirs, Grant observed, "While a battle is raging, one can see his enemy mowed down by the thousand, or the ten thousand, with great composure; but after the battle these scenes are distressing, and one is naturally disposed to alleviate the sufferings of an enemy as a friend."

Grant criticized the lack of fighting spirit of McClernand, a rival for Union Army leadership, because he had not killed or captured Pemberton's entire force.

McClernand's casualties were low on the Union left flank (south); McPherson's on the right constituted the bulk of the Union losses, about 2,500.

The Confederates suffered about 3,800 casualties. Their effective loss included most of Loring's division, which had marched off on its own to join Joseph E. Johnston in Jackson.

Hereunder a quote from the intro of "The Smoke at Dawn" by jeff shears

Quote:
The Federal triumph at Vicksburg has secured complete control of the Mississippi River from the Confederacy, cementing the reputation of Ulysses S. Grant. Farther east, the Federal army under the command of William Rosecrans captures the crucial rail hub at Chattanooga.

But Rosecrans is careless, and while pursuing the Confederates, the Federal forces are routed in north Georgia at Chickamauga Creek. Retreating in a panic back to Chattanooga, Rosecrans is pursued by the Confederate forces under General Braxton Bragg. Penned up, with their supply lines severed, the Federal army seems doomed to the same kind of defeat that plagued the Confederates at Vicksburg.

But a disgusted Abraham Lincoln has seen enough of General Rosecrans. Ulysses Grant is elevated to command of the entire theater of the war, and immediately replaces Rosecrans with General George Thomas. Grant gathers an enormous force, including armies commanded by Joseph Hooker and Grant's friend, William T. Sherman.


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Phil andrade
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/4/2017 6:16:32 AM
There is another throw away remark attributed to Billy Sherman which I love, and was uttered by him in the closing days of 1862, when he was ordered to attack the rebel defenders at Chickasaw Bluffs..

We'll lose ten thousand men taking Vicksburg, and we might as well lose them here as anywhere else !

What a comment !

Maybe I've got the words wrong, but I can't get over the sardonic wit of this extraordinary man.

The worst day of the campaign - for the North - was 22 May 1863, when direct frontal attacks were repulsed with slaughter.

This cost Grant 3,200 casualties , of whom many were left to die in agony between the lines.

This dreadful repulse doesn't get the notoriety it deserves.

Regards, Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/4/2017 6:54:20 AM
Looking at the Capture of Vicksburg as a whole.I have noted the following :-

The Union fielded 77,570 troops and suffered 4835 casualties-766K,3793 W and 276 MIA.

The Confederates fielded 34,700 and suffered 3205 Casualties K,W and MIA-the remainder 21,495 were made prisoner.

Truth to tell- it would appear a relative walkover- by ACW standards.

However I feel sure that I will be put straight on this particular matter.

Lincoln's letter to Grant after the Capture of Vicksburg

Washington, July 13, 1863.

My Dear General

I do not remember that you and I ever met personally. I write this now as a grateful acknowledgement for the almost inestimable service you have done the country. I wish to say a word further. When you first reached the vicinity of Vicksburg, I thought you should do what you finally did — march the troops across the neck, run the batteries with the transports and thus go below; and I never had any faith, except a general hope that you knew better than I, that the Yazoo-Pass expedition, and the like could succeed. When you got below, and took Port Gibson, Grand Gulf and vicinity, I thought you should go down the river and join Gen. Banks; and when you turned Northward, East of the Big Black, I feared it was a mistake. I now wish to make the personal acknowledgement that you were right and I was wrong.

Yours very truly

(Signed) A. Lincoln


Regards

Jim
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Phil andrade
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/4/2017 2:56:49 PM
Jim,

You've probably anticipated that I would have to chip in and re-assess those casualty figures !

Actually, they're right as far as they go, but they only allude to the period from 19 May to 4 July - the direct attack on Vicksburg and the trench warfare in the siege.

If you allow for the fighting in the several engagements prior, commencing on 12 May at Raymond, through Jackson, Champion's Hill and the Big Black Bridge, the aggregate would be 1,514 killed, 7,395 wounded and 453 missing : a total of 9,362. Roughly double the total you cite. Many of the missing were dead, largely attributable to the failed attacks of 19 and 22 May.

Sherman's abortive assaults at Chickasaw Bluff at the end of December had cost another 1,776 casualties.

So when Sherman dryly remarked that taking Vicksburg would cost ten thousand men, he wasn't exaggerating .

More than that, the fighting along the Mississippi had cost other casualties in different engagements which were, of themselves , part of the entire campaign to capture those strongholds along the river. There had been attempts to run the batteries with gun boats. There had been a particularly savage hand to hand battle at a place called Milliken's Bend in early June. Above all, there was the siege of Port Hudson : not widely mentioned, it had the melancholy distinction of - supposedly - having the largest proportionate loss of killed suffered by the Yankees in any major engagement ( something which I'll need to check ).

So, all in all, not such a walkover, especially if you take into account the terrible toll of disease that afflicted soldiers in those hot and humid swamps, and added many thousands of victims to those battle casualties.

Regards, Phil

---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

Michigan Dave
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/4/2017 8:44:20 PM
Some takes on the Battle of Vicksburg!

[Read More]

Cheers,
MD
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"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

John R. Price
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 1:16:26 AM
Jim,

I was more referring to the problems in the command of the Confederate Army of Miss specifically and the generally the entire West for the Confederacy as a whole.

I'd also say that the majority of Union casualties came in the center with Grant. Grant divided his forces in three for the battle and neither flank engaged promptly or in concert with the attack of the center on Carter Stevenson's Division minus Reynold's Brigade which was with Loring. That attack routed Stevenson's 3 brigades but in turn was driven back and partially routed by Bowen's Division which Pemberton ordered Loring multiple times to support. Bowen's attack pushed Grant's center to the brink of disaster and ran out of steam and ammunition within sight of the Union ammunition wagons with only a single Union regiment left supplied with ammo and not rallying to resupplying on that part of the field. I believe Pemberton sent 4 different times to Loring with orders to support Bowen's attach.

I believe that Grant took troops from both Mclernend's and McPherson's Corps to form the center and those troops did the majority of fighting.


---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 1:19:18 AM
Phil,

Your missing a whole lot of casualties there but your only counting from the point Sherman made the remark right?
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Phil andrade
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 1:48:09 AM
Yes, John : it was a far flung business in terms of both space and time.....my observation was based principally on extending the remit to include the battles of earlier May, 1863, and to draw attention to Sherman's rather outrageous remark about being bound to lose ten thousand men.

I also am intrigued at the terribly one sided casualty figures of the Port Hudson fighting. It doesn't get much attention in Civil War folklore.

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 3:39:55 AM
Casualty Reassessment all Battles ans Actions from 29th March to 4th July 1863

Union Forces total deployment=c.77,000---------------------------------
---------------"---casualties= =10,142---------------------------------
---------------"-------Killed====1,581---------------------------------
---------------"------Wounded====7,854---------------------------------
---------------"------Missing====1,007---------------------------------

Confederate Forces Deployment=c.40,000---------------------------------
-------------------Casualties===35,568---------------------------------
-----------------------Killed====1,413---------------------------------
----------------------Wounded====3,878---------------------------------
----------------------Missing====3,800---------------------------------
----------------------Prisoners=29,469---------------------------------

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

anemone
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 4:22:57 AM
Confusion and discontent in the Army o fMississippi

Historian Steven E. Woodworth wrote that Pemberton "had a strong claim to the title of the most hated man in the South, certainly the most hated to wear a Confederate uniform." There were accusations that adequate supplies had been on hand and that it was only his treachery that caused the surrender.

Even his friend, confederate general Richard Taylor, wrote after the war that a large part of the population believed "He had joined the South for the express purpose of betraying it, and this was clearly proven by the fact that he surrendered on the 4th of July, a day sacred to the Yankees."

The blame for losing Vicksburg fell not only on John Pemberton, but on the overcautious Joseph E. Johnston. Jefferson Davis said of the defeat, "Yes, from a want of provisions inside and a General outside who wouldn't fight."Anguished soldiers and civilians starving in the siege held hopes that he would come to their aid, but he never did.

Accusations of cowardice that had dogged him since the 1862 Peninsula Campaign continued to follow him in the 1864 Atlanta Campaign against Sherman.

However, Johnston was far outnumbered. While he was one of few Confederate generals whom Grant respected, he was out generaled.

Source -Civil War Trust

Regards

Jim
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Phil andrade
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 4:35:06 AM
In some ways, Johnston might be regarded as a Confederate equivalent of McClellan.

An alleged reluctance to fight ; constantly finding reasons to stall action ; beloved of his soldiers ; disdainful of his political boss.

And here's a striking thing : both McClellan and Johnston were said to fight too little ; their opponents - Lee and Grant - were said to have fought too much.

To make the cup run over, Grant is recorded as saying that Joe Johnston was a better general than Lee ; while Lee is reported to have rated McClellan as his most able opponent !

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 4:41:34 AM
Phil-Did you see my reassessment of casualties in the previous post??

Regards

Jim
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anemone
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 7:51:27 AM
Vicksburg Campaign Map to facilitate discussion


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Regards

Jim
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John R. Price
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 8:23:14 AM
Jim,

But I'm not so sure Pemberton earned or deserved that title. I really need to do more research on Loring because from what I have read his interactions with Pemberton make Bragg's and Bishop Polk's relationship look like a love in. Loring stabbed Pemberton in the back and front every chance he got and was openly and often insubordinate.

Johnston wasn't out generaled he never really had command over Pemberton, never had more than 20,000 troops and once Jackson, Raymond and Edwards Depot fall doesn't have the transportation to get the troops he does have anywhere near Vicksburg. It was a case of Davis expecting the utterly impossible out of both Johnston and Pemberton after tying their hands behind their backs.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Phil andrade
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 8:26:27 AM

Quote:
Casualty Reassessment all Battles ans Actions from 29th March to 4th July 1863

Union Forces total deployment=c.77,000---------------------------------
---------------"---casualties= =10,142---------------------------------
---------------"-------Killed====1,581---------------------------------
---------------"------Wounded====7,854---------------------------------
---------------"------Missing====1,007---------------------------------

Confederate Forces Deployment=c.40,000---------------------------------
-------------------Casualties===35,568---------------------------------
-----------------------Killed====1,413---------------------------------
----------------------Wounded====3,878---------------------------------
----------------------Missing====3,800---------------------------------
----------------------Prisoners=29,469---------------------------------

Regards

Jim
--anemone


This needs acknowledgement , Jim....thanks for supplying it.

I suspect - though I cannot be sure - that the Confederate figure for killed in this case includes died of wounds ; the Union figure only allowing for those confirmed killed in action. Look at the different proportions of wounded to killed in the two sets and you might agree.

In his memoirs, Grant was gratified to point out that the greater part of his wounded returned to duty : I'll try and find the reference.

All the same, hundreds of his wounded would have died, and perhaps these need to be added to his killed in order to make the comparison with the Confederate figure more valid. There would also be a significant number of the Yankee missing who should be added to the dead : as I mentioned earlier , the repulses of 19 and 22 May were bloody, and the fate of some of the Union soldiers echoed that of Cold Harbor a year later.

I was anxious to suggest that the winning of Vicksburg was no walk over, and some of the fighting - Champion's Hill especially - was intense and murderous.

But I do take your point : compared with battles like Shiloh, Stones River and Chickamauga - not to mention those in the East a year later - the winning of such an immense strategic prize was achieved at a relatively modest price.

Regards , Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

John R. Price
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Posts: 555

Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 8:28:28 AM
Phil,

But as I've pointed out in the past Grant wouldn't know how Joe Johnston fought because other than Jackson when Johnston couldn't do anything but run away they never faced each other on a battlefield. I also have to point out that Grant knew full well the command situation in the West for the Confederacy after the war when he made that statement so it can't be that he thought Johnston in overall command in the West.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Phil andrade
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 8:34:22 AM
Hi John,

Somewhere or other I've read that Grant was frightened of Johnston, and became agitated whenever he thought that he might be approaching.

This is strange, isn't it ?

Especially since, as you point out, they never set to in all out battle against each other in a truly first rate engagement.

I suppose that, for whatever reason, some people just fall under the spell of another's reputation. This was something that I thought Grant was proud of dispelling....he seems to have fallen foul of his own advice when it came to Johnston !

Regards , Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
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Posts: 555

Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 8:36:16 AM
Phil,

But the dates shown aren't the entire campaign and the figures don't include Port Hudson for example which was part of the overall strategy to take Vicksburg. Add in all of Grant's attempts, Port Hudson, Ark Post and Island #10 to name a few examples and the cost is so very much higher on both sides.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
top 15
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Posts: 555

Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 8:42:01 AM
Phil,

You may be right but I've never seen that before. Didn't he say it after Lee had made his comment on Little Mac and when Lee was being acclaimed by most as the best general of the war?
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


Phil andrade
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 9:00:36 AM
You're right, I'm sure, John....and you will see that I have particularly emphasised Port Hudson in this regard.

Edit : here I allude to the extent of the casualty figures.

Regards , Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 11:13:04 AM
General Nathaniel Banks was ordered to capture the Confederate stronghold of Port Hudson, in order to go to Grant's aid. When his assault failed, Banks settled into a 48-day siege, the longest in US military history.

A second attack also failed, and it was only after the fall of Vicksburg that the Confederate commander, General Franklin Gardner surrendered the port. This left the Mississippi open to Union navigation from its source to the Gulf of Mexico

casualties for this action were as follows :-

Union = -4,600 K & W + 4,000 Died of Disease or Heatstroke

Confederate=750 Killed,2500- Wounded and 6500 Prisoners.

NB.I have trawled the internet until i am blue in the face but I cannot find a cumulative figure for total casualties in this campaign from spring 1862 to 4th July 1863

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil andrade
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 12:53:52 PM
Jim,

That's a massive overstatement of the Confederate casualties at Port Hudson.

The Union figures are in order.

What source did you use ?

The Confederate casualties were 176 killed and 447 wounded.

There were two big frontal assaults made by the Yankees , which were repulsed in the most one sided manner.

The first, on 27 May 1863, cost the Union 1,995 casualties, compared with Confederate casualties of 235. The second came on 14 June, and this cost the north 1,792 casualties against only 47 for the south. Shades of another battle fought in Louisiana half a century earlier, when the Americans repulsed the British at New Orleans !

Indeed, I wonder if the rebel defenders in those civil war actions at Port Hudson were inspired to remember their cherished Tennessee hero, Andrew Jackson, and his victory.

Another six hundred or so Yankees were killed or wounded in the trenches around Port Hudson, and perhaps 340 rebels : victims of constant sniping and bombardment.

And, as your figures suggest, the conditions were most unhealthy, and fatal to many.

Regards,, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 1:05:02 PM
Apologies Phil- could not read my scribbled hand writing

Amended Confederate losses were 750 K&W and 250 Died of disease plus the stated number of prisoners

Source-Civil War Trust

Regards

Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Phil Andrade
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 1:13:06 PM
That looks more like it !

I should have realised, of course, that Louisiana did not exist as a state at the time of the Battle of New Orleans!

Regards, Phil
---------------
"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!"

"That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress."

Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

anemone
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 1:57:19 PM
The defeat at Arkansas Post (9-11 Jan 1863) cost the Confederacy fully one-fourth of its deployed force in Arkansas, the largest surrender of Rebel troops west of the Mississippi River prior to the final capitulation of the Confederates in 1865.

Union forces suffered 1,061 casualties, with 134 killed; Confederate 4,900, almost all by surrender. Although Union losses were high and the victory did not contribute to the capture of Vicksburg, it did eliminate one more impediment to Union shipping on the Mississippi.

Grant was furious at McClernand's diversion from his overall campaign strategy, ordered him back to the Mississippi, disbanded the Army of the Mississippi, and assumed personal command of the Vicksburg Campaign.

Regards

Jim


---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

John R. Price
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 2:47:37 PM
Jim,

Grant already had "personal command" of the Vicksburg Campaign. Trying to say that McClernand did Ark Post all on his own is bull. He needed supplies and Naval support and those would have to come through Grant. Grant didn't like McClernand nor did he want to deal with the political pressure he could bring. Honestly there is a school of thought that Grant was setting him up to fail and the surrender at Ark Post was by all accounts premature. Great account of the battle in the unit history for Granberry's Texas Brigade because most of the units of the brigade were part of the defensive force then under Gen Smith I believe.

Adding a little more the POW's suffered greatly in captivity being sent to Camp Douglas before exchange with maybe only half the number captured still fit for duty after exchange.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 3:20:13 PM

Quote:
Grant was furious at McClernand's diversion from his overall campaign strategy, ordered him back to the Mississippi, disbanded the Army of the Mississippi, and assumed personal command of the Vicksburg Campaign.


Hello John-Do tell me how the above translates into-"Trying to say that McClernand did Ark Post all on his own is bull."I obviously did not make such a claim. However if my choice of wording is the object of your displeasure-let me say here and now- that I did not intend to have Mclelland being seen as the sole arbiter of the outcome at Arkansas Point; but he was there; but acted badly-he had diverted from the overall strategy- that Grant recalled him and disbanded the Army of Mississippi.

PS.Being a Tyro at this subject-i am glad,indeed grateful; to have someone who is au fait with the subject matter as a guide.No hard feelings -Huh!!?

Regards

Jim
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Steve Clements
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 4:06:11 PM

Quote:
Trying to say that McClernand did Ark Post all on his own is bull.


John,

I must admit that I had the impression that the capture of Arkansas Post was McClernand's doing...and not something that Grant wanted "done". As you say, it did not really contribute - directly - the to capture of Vicksburg.

But as usual, I do stand to be corrected.

s.c.

EDIT:

The following is a copy and paste job....that involved at least 10 seconds of heavy duty research on google.


Quote:
Union Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand was an ambitious politician and had permission from President Abraham Lincoln to launch a corps-sized offensive against Vicksburg from Memphis, Tennessee, hoping for military glory (and subsequent political gain). This plan was at odds with those of Army of the Tennessee commander, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant. McClernand ordered Grant's subordinate, Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman, to join the troops of his corps with McClernand's, calling the two corps the Army of the Mississippi, approximately 33,000 men. On January 4, he launched a combined army-navy movement on Arkansas Post, rather than Vicksburg, as he had told Lincoln (and did not bother to inform Grant or the general in chief, Maj. Gen. Henry W. Halleck).
s

John R. Price
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 4:08:56 PM
Jim,

No certainly no hard feelings. I did take your wording to mean that Ark Post was a diversion from Grant's strategy, that it was done without orders from Grant. The thing is if anybody acted badly at Ark Post it is the Confederate Commander, I want to say Churchill but think I'm wrong, who ran up the white flag after the initial assault whit very minor casualties taken and many inflicted. Also it was Grant's strategy to attack but the tactics were left to the commander on the spot and in reality there was no other way short of a siege to take Ark Post. It was well sighted and pretty well laid out in memory serves.

A point about Grant that not many others on the site will say is that he had his favorites and a "doghouse" for subordinates. If you were one of the favorites it seems you had a hard time doing anything wrong but if you were in the "doghouse" it seems you could never do anything right or right enough to satisfy.

Edit It was Churchill commanding but it has Deshler commanding the 2nd Brigade which I believe is because Smith was sick. Smith was captured at Ark Post and at the time of exchange got a rifle butt to the head for refusing to hand over his greatcoat and blankets which put Desler in command at Chickamauga were he was I believe mortally wounded in Cleburne's twilight attack.
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"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


John R. Price
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 4:35:37 PM
Jim,

That's from Wiki right? First I doubt Sherman is going to do anything like pull his men out of camp without Grant knowing it. Second its too large a force with too much inter-service cooperation needed without Grant and Halleck getting wind of it. Third Ark Post had to be taken so as to allow Grant safe passage down the west side of the Miss and safeguard his base once his first attempts at Vicksburg fail. Fourth Ark Post has to be taken to complete the opening of the Miss at some point.

Color me skeptical but I don't see that as being "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth."
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


anemone
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 4:36:16 PM
Many thanks John -you are obviously a scholar; but you are also a gentleman to go with it.I have greatly appreciated your work and your replies; and I fervently hope to learn much more- with your help; and that of my good friend Phil.Tomorrow I will look into your other observation the Siege of No 10 Island Garrison and another LARGE BAG OF CONFEDERATE PRISONERS

Best Regards

Jim
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John R. Price
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 6:57:57 PM
Jim,

Check out Grant's first Overland attempt to take Vicksburg that was ended by Van Dorn and to a lesser extent Forest cutting his supply lines and destroying his base. I agree whole heartedly that Grant's successful attempt was one hell of a campaign but my problem is it was his seventh or eighth choice. He had to try all the obvious before he'd even attempt the daring and innovative.
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A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


anemone
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 7:18:50 PM
The first attempt to capture Vicksburg in summer 1862 is sometimes called the First Battle of Vicksburg. It consisted of prolonged bombardment by Union naval vessels and sputtered out when the ships withdrew.

At the same time, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant was moving overland to invest the town from the rear. His advance ended when Brig. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s cavalry tore up his rail supply line, and Maj. Gen. Earl Van Dorn captured his supply base at Holly Springs.

Grant’s efforts to seize Vicksburg resumed in December but met repeated failures. An assault by troops of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s corps against the high ground of Chickasaw Bluffs north of the town resulted in nearly 1,800 Union casualties, compared to just over 200 for the defenders.

Over the coming months, Grant’s men would attempt to dig canals or find ways through the shallow, narrow bayous to bypass what is called the Confederate "Gibraltar of the West." Finally, he decided his army would have to operate south of Vicksburg, and that required the cooperation of the navy.

To mask his army’s movement down the Louisiana side of the river, he had Sherman conduct two feints north of Vicksburg, and on April 17 Col. Benjamin H. Grierson left Tennessee on a cavalry raid through Mississippi that ended May 2 when he reached Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Grierson’s raid ranks among the most remarkable cavalry exploits of the war.

On April 16, 1863, a naval fleet under Rear Admiral David Dixon Porter came down the Mississippi, running the gauntlet of guns firing from the Vicksburg bluff, and rendezvoused with Grant’s Army of the Tennessee at Hard Times, Louisiana.

In the largest amphibious operation ever conducted by an American force prior to World War II, Grant and Porter transferred 24,000 men and 60 guns from the west bank to the east. They landed unopposed at Bruinsburg, Mississippi, and began marching toward Port Gibson and Grand Gulf, towns north along the river.

Four divisions clashed with a Confederate brigade along Bayou Pierre near Port Gibson on May 1, costing each side between 700 and 900 men, but the two river towns were captured without further significant fighting.

The rest of Grant’s army, under Sherman, then crossed the river at Grand Gulf, bringing his force to over 45,000, which he turned inland toward the Mississippi state capital, Jackson.

Regards

jim
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John R. Price
Wilkes-Barre, PA, USA
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/5/2017 7:54:18 PM
Jim,

Actually Grant first tried to force a landing at Grand Gulf but Bowen's Divisional artillery reinforced with a Arty Bat from Jackson beat back Porter's gunboats and damaged all of them and several of the transports. So much damage was done that when Grant landed at Bruinsburg there was only enough transport initially to transport a bat of Cav and a single regiment of Infantry in the first wave.
---------------
A battle long forgotten by our country in a war never understood by our country.
"to satisfy our endless needs and justify our bloody deeds, in the name of destiny and in the name of God"


anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Posts: 6103
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/6/2017 3:51:19 AM
John-Many thanks for dotting the I's and crossing the T's- altho' I made vague mention of waterborne action at he start of my post-whether this is what you referred to- I cannot say.More about No 10 Island Garrison to come

BTW Just what had McClelland done or not done- that so infuriated Grant.???From what I have read that he was sacked for publishing in the press- HIS success at Arkansas Point. Silly fellow -he had already been sacked by Lincoln from the AotP.Am I right in saying this John????

Regards

Jim
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anemone
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Re: The Vicksburg Campaign 1863--A Turning Point for the Union ?
Posted on: 7/6/2017 4:54:11 AM
The destruction of the Confederate Garrison at No 10 Island was complete. Only a few hundred individual soldiers managed to escape by wading or rafting across Reelfoot Lake and later rejoining the army.

The number who were captured became a matter of controversy. Pope asserted, in his official reports, that he had taken 273 officers and 6,700 private soldiers captive. This is almost certainly a great exaggeration. Confederate records (admittedly incomplete) indicate that not more than 5,350 men were present. The number captured would then likely have been less than 4,500.

Aside from the prisoners taken, the number of casualties in the entire campaign was very low. From the fall of New Madrid to the surrender at Tiptonville, the Union army and navy had lost only 7 men killed from all causes, 4 missing, and 14 wounded. During the entire campaign, losses in the Army of the Mississippi were reported as 8 killed, 21 wounded, and 3 missing.

Confederate losses in killed and wounded were not reported, but seem to have been similarly low. About 1,400 of the captured Confederate soldiers (many from the 1st Regiment Alabama Infantry) were then transported by railroad to what was previously a Union Army training field in Madison, WI. This marked the beginning of Camp Randall's use as a prisoner-of-war camp.

Because April 7 was the second day of the far bloodier Battle of Shiloh, the campaign for Island No. 10 soon fell from public notice.

Source-civil War Trust

Regards

Jim
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