Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 22, 1863 (Friday): The Seige of Vicksburg Begins

Battle of Vicksburg (Harper's Weekly)

NEAR Vicksburg, May 22, 1863,
General H. W. HALLECK,
Washington, D. C.:
    Vicksburg is now completely invested. I have possession of Haynes' Bluff and the Yazoo; consequently have supplies. To-day an attempt was made to carry the city by assault, but was not entirely successful. We hold possession, however, of two of the enemy's forts, and have skirmishers close under all of them. Our loss was not severe. The nature of the ground about Vicksburg is such that it can only be taken by a siege. It is entirely safe to us in time, I would say one week, if the enemy do not send a large army upon my rear. With the railroad destroyed to beyond Pearl River, I do not see the hope that the enemy can entertain of such relief.
     I learn that Jeff. Davis has promised that if the garrison can hold out for fifteen days he will send 100,000 men, if he has to evacuate Tennessee to do it.
     What shall I do with the prisoners I have?

     U. S. GRANT,

Official Records, Series I., Vol. 24, Part 1, Page 37.

Grant was correct in laying out the difficulties the Confederates would face, but his estimate of a week to take Vicksburg would be highly optimistic.  Sherman, McPherson, and McClernand made simultaneous assaults on the 22nd with a loss of 3,000 troops.

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