Tag Archives: Vicksburg Campaign

“Do We Know the Name…?”: The Battle of Jackson illuminates a research challenge

“History is lunch.” That’s the premise of a lunchtime speaker series hosted by the Two Mississippi Museums in Jackson. On Wednesday, the battle of Jackson, Mississippi, was on the menu and I was serving it up, and for the Q&A, … Continue reading

Posted in Battles, Books & Authors, Slavery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Halleck: The Art of Pretending to Say Something or Nothing

I came across a dispatch from Henry Halleck to U.S. Grant the other day that serves as a nearly perfect Halleckism. By early April 1863, Grant was undertaking yet another of his attempts at Vicksburg, this time up the Yazoo … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

What If. . .Vicksburg Had Fallen in July ’62?

In his memoirs, Admiral David D. Porter recollected a November 1861 meeting with President Lincoln and navy secretary Gideon Welles in which—he says—he suggested the plan to seize New Orleans from the sea. Lincoln liked the idea and added: “while … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns, Leadership--Federal, Navies, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Vicksburg Campaign on Video

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 … Continue reading

Posted in Campaigns | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

“The prison over the Pearl River at Jackson, Mississippi, where Union prisoners have been confined.”

In researching my forthcoming book on the battle of Jackson, Mississippi—which took place on this date in 1863 as part of Grant’s campaign through Mississippi to take Vicksburg—I stumbled on a little bit of a mystery, although I didn’t know … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Newspapers, Primary Sources, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

A Taste of Vicksburg – The Story of the Jam Jar

Tucked away in the collection’s storage at the University of West Florida’s Historic Trust is a simple artifact with a greater history than meets the eye. A brown stoneware jar, about eight inches tall and four inches in diameter, its … Continue reading

Posted in Common Soldier, Material Culture, Regiments, Sieges, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Attrition Rates of City-Class Ironclads

Perhaps nothing is more identifiable with the Mississippi River valley’s naval campaigns as the city-class ironclads. With February 2022 marking the 160th anniversary of the Fort Henry/Fort Donelson campaign, where these ironclads were first extensively used, it is worth collectively … Continue reading

Posted in 160th Anniversary, Navies, Western Theater | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

ECW Weekender: Vicksburg National Military Park

An ECW colleague emailed me a note the other day: “I’m reading the Vicksburg/Tullahoma book, and really enjoyed your article about visiting Vicksburg. I’ve never been and I’m more motivated now than ever.” The article he mentioned was based on … Continue reading

Posted in Battlefields & Historic Places, ECW Weekender, Western Theater, YouTube | Tagged , , , , , , | 8 Comments

A Bold Scheme and a Mysterious Coincidence in the Final Days of the Vicksburg Campaign

By July 15, 1863, Gen. Joe Johnston’s “Army of Relief” suddenly found itself in need of relief of its own. Johnston’s impotent posturing during most of the Vicksburg Campaign had done little to alleviate Confederate misfortunes inside the besieged city, … Continue reading

Posted in Artillery, Campaigns, Sieges | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Taking It Day By Day

Hindsight often obscures our understanding of how events unfolded and their results became apparent. Because we know how it went, we lose something of the immediate perspective that both sides had, not to mention the fog of war. To illustrate … Continue reading

Posted in Armies, Leadership--Confederate, Leadership--Federal | Tagged , , | 2 Comments