On May 9, 1863, General Joseph E. Johnston received a dispatch from the Confederate Secretary of War directing him to "proceed at once to Mississippi and take chief command of the forces in the field".
As he arrived in Jackson on the 13th, from Middle Tennessee, he learned that two Army Corps from the Union Army of the Tennessee the XV, under Major General William T. Sherman, and the XVII, under Major General James Birdseye McPhersonwere advancing on Jackson, intending to cut the city and the railroads off from Vicksburg.
Johnston consulted with the local commander, Brigadier General John Gregg, and learned that only about 6,000 troops were available to defend the town. Johnston ordered the evacuation of Jackson, but Gregg was to defend Jackson until the evacuation was completed.
By 10:00 am, both Union army corps were near Jackson and had engaged the enemy. Rain, Confederate resistance, and poor defenses prevented heavy fighting until around 11:00 am, when Union forces attacked in numbers and slowly but surely pushed the enemy back.
In mid-afternoon, Johnston informed Gregg that the evacuation was complete and that he should disengage and follow. Soon after, the Yankees entered Jackson and had a celebration, hosted by Major General U.S. Grant who had been travelling with General Sherman's corps, in the Bowman House.
They then burned part of the town and cut the railroad connections with Vicksburg. Johnston's evacuation of Jackson was a tragedy because he could, by late on the 14th, have had 11,000 troops at his disposal and by the morning of the 15th, another 4,000.
The fall of the former Mississippi state capital was a blow to Confederate morale.
Standard Catalog of
Civil War Firearms
Over 700 photographs and a rarity scale for each gun, this comprehensive guide to the thousands of weapons used by Billy Yank and Johnny Reb will be indispensable for historians and collectors.
Vicksburg: 47 Days of Siege
First-hand accounts of life during the 47 days Vicksburg was under siege. Ranging from housewives to soliders on both sides, a good idea of what life was like, from ways to pass the time to what to eat, in and around Vicksburg. A large photo album and a glossary
Grant Wins the War
Decision at Vicksburg
A brilliantly constructed new account,A penetrating analysis of Grant's strategies and actions leading to the Union victory at Vicksburg. Approaching these epic events from a unique and well-rounded perspective, and based on careful research
Sherman's Mississippi Campaign
Sherman set out from Vicksburg on February 3, 1864, with an army of some 25,000 infantry and a battalion of cavalry. An opportunity to observe how this large-scale raid presaged Shermans Atlanta and Carolina campaigns, revealing the transformation of Shermans strategic thinking
Decisive Battle for Vicksburg
The Battle of Champion Hill was the decisive land engagement of the Vicksburg Campaign. The May 16, 1863, fighting took place just 20 miles east of the river city, where the advance of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Federal army attacked Gen. John C. Pemberton's hastily gathered Confederates
Vicksburg Expedition Guide
Annimated movie that details Grants Mississippi campaign which concluded with the seige of Vicksburg. A great background on the importance of this site in the entire war, as well as battles leading up to the Vicksburgh seige.
A Hard Trip
A History of the 15th Mississippi Infantry
The reality of the moment in 1860-61 Mississippi. The thoughts of the men who formed the 15th Mississippi are front and center with good background about the communities the men came from and the reasons they joined the army.
The Civil War - A Film by Ken Burns
Here is the saga of celebrated generals and ordinary soldiers, a heroic and transcendent president and a country that had to divide itself in two in order to become one
Bad Blood: The Border War That Triggered the Civil War
In the years leading up to the Civil War, a bloody conflict between slaveholders and abolitionists focused the nation's eyes on the state of Missouri and the territory of Kansas. Told through the actual words of slave owners, free-staters, border ruffians, and politicians, Bad Blood presents the complex morality, differing values, and life-and-death decisions faced by those who lived on the Missouri-Kansas border
Blue Vs. Gray - Killing Fields
Relive the most vicious fighting of the Civil War, in which General Ulysses S. Grant forcibly reversed the tide of the conflict by paying with the blood of thousands. It was a desperate time for the Union
Civil War Combat: America's Bloodiest Battles
The violent mayhem of the hornet's nest at Shiloh, the valiant charge on the sunken road at Antietam, the carnage in the wheat field at Gettysburg, and the brutal fighting at Cold Harbor
An American President
One of the most outstanding statesmen of the United States during the first 60 years of the 19th century, he sacrificed everything to defend the South's position regarding the rights of the states and conservative constitutional interpretation. Against staggering odds he led the South and held it together in the bloody Civil War or War Between the States
U.S. National Park Service
U.S. Library of Congress.