Vicksburg Campaign on Video

The Big Black River near the site of the May 17, 1863, fighting

Yesterday, May 17, marked the anniversary of the fight at the Big Black River bridge during Grant’s Mississippi overland campaign. The fight quickly flushed out the Confederates and gave Grant and his army access to the west back, with the gates of Vicksburg beyond. Grant would knock on the city’s door–too rashly–on May 19 and again on May 22 before settling into a siege.

Last year, historian Jim Woodrick was kind enough to spend a couple days tracing most of the Vicksburg Campaign with me, and we shot some videos together. It was a fantastic trip, and I’m grateful to Jim for his hospitality and knowledge, which he was kind enough to share with us–take a look!

The Battle of Grand Gulf:


The Battle of Port Gibson:

The Shaifer House at Port Gibson:

(We couldn’t hit Raymond, unfortunately….)

The Battle of Jackson:

The Old Capitol Museum in Jackson:

The Coker House @ Champion Hill:

The Battle of Champion Hill:

Battle along the Big Black River:

You can get more from Vicksburg by looking at the full Vicksburg playlist.

6 Responses to Vicksburg Campaign on Video

  1. Thanks Chris — what a great little series … i did the V’Burg campaign with the Army War College a few years back …the nice thing about V’Burg is the entire campaign is in a relatively small geographic area — very doable in a 2-3 days … and it was a joint (army-navy) operation.

    traveling the campaign’s geography, i also got a feel for Grant’s agressive leadership — marching deep into central Mississippi with no organic logistics and no comms with his higher HQ … it’s hard to imagine any of Grant’s western theater comtemporaries — Halleck, Rosecrans or Buell — taking that sort of operational risk … yet Grant’s team always kept Pemberton and Johnson on the back foot … it almost wasn’t a fair fight … in retrospect, the Confederates never had a chance.

    thanks again.

    1. I could see Rosecrans doing it. Chickamauga was basically the end result of him going for it, beyond a solid logistics and communications point in Chattanooga. The Nashville & Chattanooga railroad was his Mississippi River.

      Grant wasn’t completely logistically cut off, I think. He had the Mississippi River and naval support the whole time. The worst that could have happened is he marched back to Bruinsburg and crossed back over the river, or marched south to Banks at Port Hudson, which would have been bad for him personally, but the fight for Vicksburg would have carried on.

      I love how Grant discombobulated Pemberton though, with all the operational movements before he crossed the river and moved inland. Brilliant and resourceful campaign all around.

  2. I’ll be going to Vicksburg on June 11 and 12th and tour myself around the Vicksburg campaign spots. These videos help out a lot. Will stop by Poverty Point over in Louisiana as well.

Please leave a comment and join the discussion!

%d bloggers like this: