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Vicksburg: Jackson to Surrender

Vicksburg: Jackson to Surrender

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Vicksburg: Jackson to Surrender

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  1. Vicksburg: Jackson to Surrender Lsn 18

  2. Vicksburg Jackson

  3. Grant Changes Plan • Success at Raymond convinced Grant to shift his focus from the Confederate railroads to the capitol of Jackson • Would allow him to isolate Vicksburg from reinforcements under Johnston

  4. Grant took advantage of “central position” between Confederates at Edwards and Jackson “If an army can be emplaced between segments of a larger force, it has an improved likelihood of defeating these reduced elements and thus by extension the entire force overall.” Required audacity Central Position

  5. Central Position • “Because he did not know the strength of the Confederate force he would confront, Grant decided he required his whole army to attack Jackson. This scheme meant he would be turning his back on Pemberton. Grant calculated carefully: Nothing Pemberton had done so far indicated that he was an aggressive leader; consequently, Grant believed he could deal with Jackson and return to fight Pemberton before that general realized what was afoot. It was an audacious plan of Napoleonic vision….

  6. Central Position • …. By virtue of careful logistical preparation followed by rapid marching, Grant had achieved the central position Napoleon cherished. Having interposed his army between the two Confederate wings, Grant intended to use the central position in Napoleonic style by defeating one wing and then countermarching to defeat the other before the two wings could cooperate.” • James Arnold, Grant Wins the War, 136

  7. Isolation of Vicksburg • Would allow Grant to “isolate” Pemberton from support from Johnson • Isolate: • A tactical task given to a unit to seal off (both physically and psychologically) an enemy from his sources of support, to deny an enemy freedom of movement, and prevent an enemy unit from having contact with other enemy forces. (FM 101-5-1)

  8. Battle of JacksonMay 14, 1863 • Jackson served as a major strategic site: • Capital of Mississippi • Closest major city to Vicksburg • Railroads and major highways • Machine shops and factories • Telegraph lines

  9. Battle of JacksonMay 14, 1863 • After Raymond, Grant divided his forces • McPherson’s corps moved north through Raymond to Clinton • Sherman pushed northeast through Raymond to Mississippi Springs.

  10. Battle of JacksonMay 14, 1863 • Having forces in Clinton (west of Jackson) gave Grant a positional advantage • Cut-off Vicksburg from aiding Jackson. • Secured multiple avenues of attack for the Union

  11. Battle of JacksonMay 14, 1863 • Jefferson Davis ordered Johnston to Jackson to salvage the rapidly deteriorating situation • Johnston arrived May 13 • He immediately wired President Davis saying, “I am too late” and ordered the city evacuated

  12. Battle of JacksonMay 14, 1863 • Johnston’s decision was overly hasty and reflected his overall defensive mindset • He probably at least could have held Grant long enough for Pemberton to move forward and hit Grant’s rear • Instead, Johnston “usually preferred retreating to fighting” • Michael Ballard, Vicksburg, National Park Civil War Series, p. 36 Johnston will be controversially removed from command for his defensive response to Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign

  13. Offensive • What’s all this say about the principle of war of offensive? • Offensive operations are essential to maintain the freedom of action necessary for success, exploit vulnerabilities, and react to rapidly changing situations and unexpected developments. • Offensive actions are those taken to dictate the nature, scope, and tempo of an operation. • Offensive action is key to achieving decisive results; it is the essence of successful operations.

  14. Central Position • But what quenched whatever little offensive flair Johnston may have had was Grant’s central position • Johnston’s full assessment was • “I arrived this evening, finding the enemy’s force between this place [Jackson] and General Pemberton, cutting off communication. I am too late.”

  15. Battle of JacksonMay 14, 1863 • Brigadier General John Gregg was left to fight a delaying action • Gregg assisted by bad weather • Heavy rain muddied the road toward Jackson and ruined Federal ammunition. • Slowed Federal advance and gave Confederates time to withdraw • At 2:00 pm, Gregg learned Confederate supply train had left Jackson and decided to withdraw his force • Federals entered Jackson at 3:00 pm on the 14th

  16. Battle of JacksonMay 14, 1863 • Grant neutralized Jackson militarily by: • burning the machine shops and factories • cutting telegraph lines • destroying railroad tracks • Jackson became known as “Chimneyville” • With Vicksburg isolated, Grant began his move west • Set up the decisive battle of Champion Hill

  17. Vicksburg Champion Hill and Big Black

  18. Results of the Battle of JacksonMay 14, 1863 • Grant neutralized Jackson militarily: • burned the machine shops and factories • cut telegraph lines • destroyed railroad tracks • Jackson became known as “Chimneyville” • With Vicksburg isolated, Grant began his move west

  19. Decisive Point • One of those elements of the operational design we talked about on Day 2 • “A geographic place, specific key event, or enabling system that allows commanders to gain a marked advantage over an enemy and greatly influence the outcome of an attack.” • FM 3-0

  20. Champion Hill as the Decisive Point • Vicksburg National Military Park website calls Champion Hill “The decisive engagement of the Vicksburg campaign” and concludes that “victory at Champion Hill guaranteed the success of [Grant’s] campaign.” • http://www.nps.gov/vick/vcmpgn/chmpnhl.htm • “The drums of Champion Hill sounded the doom of Richmond.” • Major General J.F.C. Fuller, Military Historian.

  21. Champion Hill as the Decisive Point • After Champion Hill, “the South could no longer win the war through their own generals’ initiative… Champion Hill reduced Confederate president Jefferson Davis to reliance upon Union bungling or Northern war weariness to confer Southern independence. If a decisive battle is defined as one in which a nation fatally wounds its foe, Champion Hill was indeed a decisive engagement.” • James Arnold, Grant Wins the War, 1-2

  22. Unity of Effort and Objective? • Johnston’s concept • Leave Edward’s Station and attack Federals at Clinton • Pemberton’s concept • Johnston’s plan too dangerous and conflicted with President Davis’ order to defend Vicksburg • Decided to attack supply trains instead • But remember from Day 4, Grant had decided to “cut loose from my base, destroy the rebel force in rear of Vicksburg or invest or capture the city.”

  23. Impact of Logistics • “I naturally expected that Pemberton would endeavor to obey the orders of his superior, which I have shown were to attack us at Clinton. This, indeed, I knew he could not do; but I felt sure he would make the attempt to reach that point. It turned out, however, that he had decided his superior’s plans were impracticable, and consequently determined to move south from Edward’s station and get between me and my base. I, however, had no base, having abandoned it more than a week before.” • Grant, Memoirs

  24. Battle Begins • Grant received word Pemberton was at Edwards Station preparing to march east • Grant advanced west from Bolton and Raymond on three parallel columns • At about 7:00 am Union forces engaged Confederates • Battle of Champion Hill began

  25. The Terrain • “Champion’s Hill, where Pemberton had chosen his position to receive us, whether taken by accident or design, was well selected. It is one of the highest points in that section, and commanded all the ground in range. On the east side of the ridge, which is quite precipitous, is a ravine running first north, then westerly, terminating at Baker’s Creek. It was grown up thickly with large trees and undergrowth, making it difficult to penetrate with troops, even when not defended. The ridge occupied by the enemy terminated abruptly where the ravine turns westerly. The left of the enemy occupied the north end of this ridge. The Bolton and Edward’s station wagon-road turns almost due south at this point and ascends the ridge, which it follows for about a mile; then turning west, descends by a gentle declivity to Baker’s Creek, nearly a mile away. ” • Grant, Memoirs

  26. Confederate Forces • Defensive line focused on Middle and Raymond Roads • Federals used Jackson Road, taking advantage of the unprotected Confederate left flank • Pemberton had to shift forces which created a gap at the Crossroads • Failure of principle of war of security

  27. Federal Forces • Federals attacked at 10:00 am and overtook Confederate defensive line by 1:00 pm • Captured Crossroads which closed the Jackson Road escape route • Confederates counterattacked in insufficient numbers • Grant pressed the attack • Tried to get McClernand to move forward and cut off the Confederate retreat, but McClernand, in spite of Grant’s sending “repeated orders by staff officers fully competent to explain to him the situation,” did not advance.

  28. Federal Forces • Confederates retreated to only escape route still open (Raymond Road crossing of Baker’s Creek) • Tilghman died acting as rear guard to cover the Confederate retreat • “Had McClernand come up with reasonable promptness, or had I known the ground as I did afterward, I cannot see how Pemberton could have escaped with any organized force.” (Grant, Memoirs) • At 8:00 pm Federals entered Edwards

  29. Decisive Point • One of those elements of the operational design we talked about in Lsn 2 • “A geographic place, specific key event, or enabling system that allows commanders to gain a marked advantage over an enemy and greatly influence the outcome of an attack.” • FM 3-0

  30. Maneuver • As both an element of combat power and a principle of war, maneuver concentrates and disperses combat power to place and keep the enemy at a disadvantage. It includes the dynamic, flexible application of leadership, firepower, information, and protection as well. • Achieves results that would otherwise be more costly • Keeps enemies off balance by making them confront new problems and new dangers faster than they can deal with them.

  31. Was it the Decisive Point? • Was Champion Hill the last chance for Confederates to avoid siege at Vicksburg? • How did Grant use maneuver to put the Confederates in a position of Federal advantage?

  32. Big Black River • After its victory, the Federal Army rested until early in the morning of May 17 • By now Sherman had arrived from Jackson, and Grant sent him and McPherson to cut off Pemberton’s retreat north of the railroad • McClernand moved to intercept the Confederates right where the railroad crossed the Big Black River 1864 photograph of the Big Black River battlefield

  33. Big Black River • Pemberton’s army was exhausted and they waited on the east side of the Big Black on the night of the 16th to gather the withdrawing forces • The wait proved costly • On May 17, McClernand struck the dejected Confederates who had their backs to the river

  34. Big Black River • Pemberton’s army managed to escape back to Vicksburg thanks to well placed infantry and artillery on the bluffs along the west bank of the river and the successful burning of the bridge • Pemberton beat Grant to the safety of the Vicksburg defenses • Grant arrived outside Vicksburg on May 18 and began plans to assault the Confederate positions The Civil War-era bridge over the Big Black was burned by the Confederates to prevent pursuit by Grant’s army. 

  35. Vicksburg Assaults, Siege, Surrender, and Significance

  36. Assaults on Vicksburg • After the Battle of the Big Black on May 17, Pemberton retreated into Vicksburg and began establishing his defense • Grant was anxious to finish the job and ordered two assaults on May 19 and 22 • The first was relatively hasty, the second more deliberate • Both failed THE SIEGE OF VICKSBURG-- APPROACH OF McPHERSON'S SAPS TO THE REBEL WORKS Harper’s Weekly

  37. Confederate Defenses • The Confederates built nine major fortifications that anchored their line • Each covered the roads and the railroad that constituted the best Federal avenues of approach • Rifle pits connecting the major works made the Confederate line more or less continuous • “Vicksburg was, then, rather an intrenched camp than a fortified place, owing much of its strength to the difficult ground, obstructed by fallen trees in its front, which rendered rapidity of movement and ensemble [coordination] in an assault impossible.” • Report of Captains Prime and Comstock, Grant’s chief engineers

  38. Terrain facing the Federal Assaults

  39. lunette redan May 19 Assault • Major attack was by Sherman’s corps at the Confederate left-center at Stockade Redan (a V-shaped fortification, open to the rear) • Particularly effective fire came from the Confederate “lunettes” (a small outwork, sometimes crescent-shaped, usually on the flank of a larger fortification) • Green’s lunette and the 27th Louisiana Lunette provided enfilade fire over the ground in front of the redan Enfilade Fire

  40. May 19 Assault

  41. May 19 Assault • Terrain, obstacles, and fire all worked in concert to stop the Federal attack • “Confederate rifle and artillery fire raked the blue lines from front and flank as they plunged into the ravine– where abatis, wire entanglements, and pits covered with grass mats further broke up the Union formations.” • Chris Gabel, Staff Ride Handbook for the Vicksburg Campaign, 162

  42. May 19 Assault • Part of Smith’s Brigade made it to the top, dodging hand grenades and artillery shells the Confederates rolled down on them from the redan • At nightfall they withdrew back to Federal lines • By then their flagstaff was in three pieces and the flag itself had 56 holes in it The 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry lost 43% of its men in the May 19 assault, but by planting its colors, for however briefly, on the top of the slope, it was authorized to claim honors as “First at Vicksburg.”

  43. May 19 Assault • Sherman’s corps losses 134 killed, 571 wounded, and 8 missing • McPherson’s and McClernand’s corps conducted only limited attacks and lost 23 killed and 206 wounded • Confederate casualties probably were less than 200 • The failed attack showed the Confederate defenses would not be easily taken, so Grant began planning a larger attack • Wanted to try to secure Vicksburg before Johnston could organize a relief force

  44. May 22 Assault • This time Grant proceeded the attack with a four-hour artillery bombardment • Grant’s plan was for all three of his corps to attack in force • McClernand, however, was the only commander to attack with his entire corps

  45. May 22 Assault • McClernand had success at the Railroad Redoubt and threatened South Fort and Square Fort • McClernand needed help from Sherman and McPherson to exploit these opportunities, but he didn’t get it • Sherman’s own attack failed and he called it off, reportedly saying, “This is murder. Stop those men.” • McPherson also made no headway

  46. May 22 Assault • Grant halted the attack after losing 3,200 men • Pemberton lost less than 500 • With this defeat, Grant gave up the idea of taking Vicksburg by assault and began siege tactics

  47. May 22 Assault: McClernand’s Relief • McClernand tried to blame Grant, Sherman, and McPherson for the failed attack and issued a congratulatory order to his troops implying that the other corps had failed to do their part and left McClernand’s men to fend for themselves • The order was really a thinly disguised press release and when it made its way into several Northern papers, Grant had the excuse he needed to relieve McClernand • Standing orders required corps commanders to clear press releases through Grant’s headquarters and McClernand had not done so • On June 18, Grant relieved McClernand, sent him back to Illinois, and appointed Edward O. C. Ord to replace him

  48. Decision to Lay Siege • Following the failure of the May 22 assault, Grant realized that Vicksburg could not be taken by storm and decided to lay siege to the city. • Slowly his army established a line of works around the city and cut Vicksburg off from supply and communications with the outside world. Large “sap rollers” constructed of cane and other materials protected the diggers as they worked at the head of the trenches.

  49. Naval Actions during the Siege • Porter fired 11,500 projectiles from his ironclads and mortarboats • He also landed 13 heavy cannon from his gunboats for the Army to use as siege artillery • These fired 4,500 rounds • The Navy also ensured supplies and reinforcements reached Grant’s Army without interference from the Confederates

  50. Siege lines • Federal engineers constructed thirteen approaches and dug a series of trenches measuring almost 15 miles • Part of the plan was to dig close enough to the Confederate fortifications to tunnel underneath them, plant charges of black powder, and destroy the positions