Today in History:

6 Series I Volume XXIV-I Serial 36 - Vicksburg Part I

Page 6 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.

cient to entirely invest the enemy's works. There was, therefore, danger that the two bodies of the enemy under Pemberton and Johnston might yet effect a junction, as it was known that the latter was being largely re-enforced from Bragg's army in Middle and East Tennessee. Under these circumstances, General Grant determined to attempt to carry the place by assault. Two successful attacks were made May 19 and 22, but as re-enforcements reached him a few days after sufficiently large to enable him to completely invest the rebel defenses, he resorted to the slower, but more certain, operations of a regular siege. By the 3rd of July his saps were so far advanced as to render his success certain, and on that day General Pemberton proposed an armistice and capitulation, which were finally accepted, and Vicksburg surrendered on the 4th of July.

In the language of General Grant's official report, the results of this short campaign were--

The defeat of the enemy in five battles outside of Vicksburg, the occupation of Jackson, the capital of the State of Mississippi, and the capture of Vicksburg and its garrison and munitions of war, a loss to the enemy of 37,000 prisoners, among whom were 15 general officers, at least 10,000 killed and wounded, and among the killed General Tracy, Tilghman, and Green, and hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of stragglers, who can never be collected and reorganized. Arms and munitions of war for an army of 60,000 men have fallen into our hands, besides a large amount of other public property, consisting of railroads, locomotives, cars, steamboats, cotton, &c., and much was destroyed to prevent our capturing it.

Our losses in the series of battles may be summed up as follows:*

Killed Wounded Missing

Port Gibson 130 718 5

Fourteen-Mile Creek (skirmish) 4 24 ---

Raymond 69 341 32

Jackson 40 240 6

Champion's Hill 426 1,842 189

Big Black Railroad Bridge 29 242 2

Vicksburg 545 3,688 303

Of the wounded, many were but slightly wounded, and continued on duty; many more required but a few days or weeks for their recovery. Not more than one-half of the wounded were permanently disabled.

When we consider the character of the country in which this army operated, the formidable obstacles to be overcome, the number of the enemy's forces, and the strength of his works, we cannot fail to admire the courage and endurance of the troops and the skill and daring of their commander. No more brilliant exploit can be found in military history.

It has been alleged, and the allegation has been widely circulated by the press, that General Grant, in the conduct of his campaign, positively disobeyed the instructions of his superiors. It is hardly necessary to remark that General Grant never disobeyed an order or instruction, but always carried out, to the best of his ability, every wish or suggestion made to him by the Government; moreover, he has never complained that the Government did not furnish him all the means and assistance in its power to facilitate the execution of any plan which he saw fit to adopt.


*But see general summary of casualties, Part II, p. 167.


Page 6 Mississippi, WEST TENNESSEE, ETC. Chapter XXXVI.