May 19 to July 4, 1863
Beginning in October 1862, the Union attempted to take Vicksburg several times, but all efforts failed. Beginning in April 5, 1863, a Union army under Gen. U.S. Grant moved down the west side of the Mississippi River past Vicksburg and landed at Bruinsburg on April 30. Grant moved inland to take Jackson then moved west to Vicksburg. Although the Confederate army under Pennsylvania born John C. Pemberton made stands at Champion's Hill and the Big Black River, Grant encircled the city with Pemberton's army trapped inside. Joe Johnston began forming a relief column north of Jackson.
Stockade Redan - May 19, 1863 Attack
On May 19th, Grant's army encircled the city. Grant felt that the Confederates were demoralized and that the city could be taken by assault. The bulk of the attack fell upon Blair's division of Sherman's corps which was directed to take the Stockade Redan, which protected the northeastern approach to the city along the Graveyard road. This picture is from the Stockade Redan, which is in the far left foreground. At 2 P.M., T. Kilby Smith's brigade advanced to the ridge on the right of the picture and fired into the fort while the 83rd Indiana pressed on. This regiment got within several yards of the ditch but got pinned down. On the right of the picture, G.A. Smith's brigade advanced from the ridge on the left of the picture and into the ravine and up the hill to ward the fort. Some Federals of the 13th U.S. made it up to the road, but the regiment was enfiladed from the 27th La. Lunette off the picture to the left, and the unit lost 43% of its men. The rest of the brigade also became pinned down, and with the safety of darkness, the Federals fell back having taken 1,000 casualties.
Looking Toward the Stockade Redan - May 22, 1863 Attack
The attack on the 19th was poorly organized, and since Johnston was forming an army to relieve the siege, Grant decided to attack again at several locations. Once again, Sherman was ordered to take the Stockade Redan, but this time he intended to advance directly down the road instead of in the timber clogged ravines.
After a four hour bombardment, a forlorn hope of 150 men ran down the road to the Stockade Redan ordered to fill the fort's ditch and mount scaling ladders for the follow on troops.
Stockade Redan - May 22, 1863 Attack
As the forlorn hope exited the cut in the road they were immediately met with Confederate fire. Some of them made it to the ditch where they were became pinned down. The 30th Ohio came through the cut next and were met with the same deadly fire. The 37th Ohio followed, but the men halted in the face of the heavy fire and turned back, blocking the road and preventing any further advance. This attack and one later in the day failed.
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