Siege of Vicksburg
(May 18, 1863 - July 4, 1863)

Vicksburg, detail from View of Vicksburg, 1863
Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

The Siege of Vicksburg began as anything but a siege. Gen. Grant, whose performance to this point had been nothing short of brilliant, ordered two frontal assaults in four days against the formidable defensive works of Vicksburg. In hindsight they represented a disastrous blunder that resulted in extremely high casualties with no significant gain in military position. The finger-pointing and recriminations that followed the repulse of the assaults cloud exactly what happened during the May 22nd assaults by Lawler's Brigade of Carr's Division and Landram's brigade of A. J Smith's Division, which included the 48th Ohio. The partial success achieved by the valiant sacrifices of these brigades in the poorly planned assault on the Railroad Redoubt led to statements by Gen. McClernand that compounded the already discordant relationship between McClernand and Grant and would ultimately lead to Gen. McClernand's dismissal. Detailed reports by Gen. A. J. Smith and Col. Landram exist for all battles before Vicksburg and for the action after Vicksburg at Jackson, but reports by these men on the Vicksburg Campaign itself are missing, although fragments of Col. Landram's report survive in the "History of the 77th Illinois". Many historic accounts take Gen. Grant's version of the Vicksburg Campaign as the definitive account. They portray Gen. McClernand as an incompetent and insubordinate political general, and A. J. Smith as hesitating and lacking in aggressiveness. They also minimize the temporary successes gained by McClernand's Corps at the Railroad Redoubt and the Second Texas Lunette on May 22, 1863. A more recent study of McClernand by Richard L. Kiper reveals him to be extremely courageous, aggressive and highly competent in handling those in his command. Similarly, the characterization of A. J. Smith as hesitant, rather than aggressive and in command of the situation, is totally inconsistent with the old dragoon's behavior at any time, before or after the Vicksburg Campaign. It is not inconceivable that the reports of Landram, who remained a Colonel throughout the war, and Smith, who never was given responsibility or credit commensurate with his ability and accomplishments, were left out of the record for political reasons.

Gen. Grant himself nicely sums up the Siege of Vicksburg and the two early attempts to take the city by storm in his memoirs as follows.

On the 19th there was constant skirmishing with the enemy while we were getting into better position. The enemy had been much demoralized by his defeats at Champion's Hill and the Big Black, and I believed he would not make much effort to hold Vicksburg. Accordingly, at two o'clock I ordered an assault. It resulted in securing more advanced positions for all our troops where they were fully covered from the fire of the enemy.

The 20th and 21st were spent in strengthening our position and in making roads in rear of the army, from Yazoo River or Chickasaw Bayou. Most of the army had now been for three weeks with only five days' rations issued by the commissary. They had an abundance of food, however, but began to feel the want of bread. I remember that in passing around to the left of the line on the 21st, a soldier, recognizing me, said in rather a low voice, but yet so that I heard him, "Hard tack." In a moment the cry was taken up all along the line, "Hard tack! Hard tack!" I told the men nearest to me that we had been engaged ever since the arrival of the troops in building a road over which to supply them with everything they needed. The cry was instantly changed to cheers. By the night of the 21st all the troops had full rations issued to them. The bread and coffee were highly appreciated.

I now determined on a second assault. Johnston was in my rear, only fifty miles away, with an army not much inferior in numbers to the one I had with me, and I knew he was being reinforced. There was danger of his coming to the assistance of Pemberton, and after all he might defeat my anticipations of capturing the garrison if, indeed, he did not prevent the capture of the city. The immediate capture of Vicksburg would save sending me the reinforcements which were so much wanted elsewhere, and would set free the army under me to drive Johnston from the State. But the first consideration of all was-the troops believed they could carry the works in their front, and would not have worked so patiently in the trenches if they had not been allowed to try.

The attack was ordered to commence on all parts of the line at ten o'clock A.M. on the 22d with a furious cannonade from every battery in position. All the corps commanders set their time by mine so that all might open the engagement at the same minute. The attack was gallant, and portions of each of the three corps succeeded in getting up to the very parapets of the enemy and in planting their battle flags upon them; but at no place were we able to enter. General McClernand reported that he had gained the enemy's entrenchments at several points, and wanted reinforcements. I occupied a position from which I believed I could see as well as he what took place in his front, and I did not see the success he reported. But his request for reinforcements being repeated I could not ignore it, and sent him Quimby's division of the 17th corps. Sherman and McPherson were both ordered to renew their assaults as a diversion in favor of McClernand. This last attack only served to increase our casualties without giving any benefit whatever. As soon as it was dark our troops that had reached the enemy's line and been obliged to remain there for security all day, were withdrawn; and thus ended the last assault upon Vicksburg.

I now determined upon a regular siege -- to "outcamp the enemy," as it were and to incur no more losses. The experience of the 22d convinced officers and men that this was best, and they went to work on the defenses and approaches with a will. With the navy holding the river, the investment of Vicksburg was compete. As long as we could hold our position the enemy was limited in supplies of food, men and munitions of war to what they had on hand. These could not last always.

U. S. Grant





The May 19th Charge on Vicksburg's Works

On May 18th Gen. Grant's triumphant army approached the gates of Vicksburg. Gen. Sherman's Corps was advancing toward the north of the city on the Graveyard Road. Just to the south of Sherman, Gen. McPherson's Corps was advancing toward the Great Redoubt on the Jackson Road, and General Gen. McClernand's Corps moved toward the center of the city's fortifications along the Baldwin's Ferry Road, with General Burbridge's brigade of General A. J. Smith's division in the vanguard and Col. Landram's Brigade close behind. Gen. A. J. Smith's division halted for the night about 2.5 miles from the Vicksburg works (Cyrus Hussey's estimate of four miles was a bit high.) Gen Smith's Division moved south of the road to a position opposite the rifle pits, between the Square Fort and the Railroad Redoubt.

The 48th moved forward at 2:00 P.M We know from Capt. Hussey that Col. Landram's Brigade was arrayed in two lines, with the 77th Ill. and 98th Ill in advance, the 19th Ky. and the 48th Ohio in the second line, and the 130th Ill. in reserve. Bering and Montgomery's account describes a more active assault than Hussey's, but Hussey's account, written on the spot, is likely to reflect the actual action seen by the regiment that day. After much exchange of fire and little damage, they withdrew for the night. To the north, Sherman's Corps made a furious assault on the Stockade Redan, which was repulsed with heavy losses.

The beef and crackers provided on the 19th is the first the men had in a long time. They had been on short rations for days. Hussey is greatly cheered on the 20th by the news that the new supply line from the Yazoo River has been established.

The Engineers on both sides quietly planned their measures and counter measures.

Photos courtesy of Bruce Schulze,

Vicksburg Map Detail courtesy of Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division


May 19, 1863

On the morning of May 19th, we advanced again, and after a two hours' march, over a very rugged and hilly country, we came in sight of Vicksburg, which is built on a series of high bluffs, and contained 10,000 inhabitants. The defenses of the city consisted of a chain of forts, at intervals of 800 yards, for a distance of seven miles, both right and left, resting on the Mississippi river, and forming a semi-circle around the city. The rifle pits filled the intervals between the forts. In front of these was a ditch fifteen feet wide and ten feet deep. The works were more formidable than we expected to find them, showing that they were fully prepared to receive us.

As soon, as the enemy discovered us advancing over the hills, they opened on us with their artillery. Our batteries were hurried forward into position, and under their fire we advanced a short distance and halted in a ravine. At 10 A. M., Gen. A. J. Smith ordered all the officers of the Regiment to report at his headquarters. On arriving there, he told them to inform their men that at 2 o'clock P. M. we would storm the rebel works. The news was received by the Regiment in a quiet and serious manner, and the suspense until 2 o'clock was somewhat like that of the culprit awaiting the hour of his execution. Promptly at the hour the signal-gun was fired, and the order came, "Forward, 48th!" We started up the hill, and on reaching the summit we were greeted with shot and shell from the rebel forts; but without faltering, on we went, down into the next ravine, through brush and over fallen trees. Arriving at the foot of a hill, we continued up the narrow valley under the guns of the fort, and drove the rebel outposts into their fortifications, when a halt was ordered, to allow the troops to join us on the left. By the time they made the connection the sun was setting in the west. Our opportunity for taking Vicksburg that day had passed, and we bivouacked for the night.

John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Tuesday 19th
Moved forward about 1 1/2 mi. in the morning. Our division formed in line. Our brigade in two lines 77th & 97th Ill. in advance, 19th [Ky.] & 48th in second line. 130th Ill. formed the reserve. Rebel works on a high hill - their troops on front passing into the rifle pits. Country very much broken. Cannonading in the rear of works - were we guess it may be gunboats engaging batteries in front, or Sherman on the right of our line. News came that Serg't McVay [Co. A] died at Cayuga on the 17th inst. From the effect of a wound received when in the line of duty.
Troops not in position at 10.00 A.M. Osterhaus coming into line at that hour. Our line about 1 1/2 or 2 mi. from Rebel works. There seems to be no movement of the Army to indicate a fight this site of fortifications. Said to be rifle pits 1/2 mi. in our advance. Word that Sherman has Hanes Bluffs. Order to advance at 2:00 P.M. Moved forward as formed within 1/2 mi. of works. Considerable of firing - Mostly at the Artillery Men -- & the rebels can hardly fire their pieces. No general charge. Rebs shelled our position considerable but did not injure any one in our Regt. But little our artillery engaged. We don't seem to be doing any good. Q.M. brought us cooked beef & crackers. Lay in position at night on arms. The operation of the whole line seems to correspond with those of our own brigade.
Cyrus Hussey

Report of Col. Peter J. Sullivan (not present at event)
On the 19th, we advanced and drove the enemy's pickets out of their rifle-pits into their fortifications.
Peter J. Sullivan (OR 8/4/63)

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
The corps arrived in front, or in rear, of Vicksburg, as it is sometimes called, on May 19, from which time to the 22d instant every effort was made to determine by reconnaissances the weakest points of the enemy's line, and to obtain as accurate information of the ground as possible…
…I had previously, on the night of the 19th, selected the hill near the crossing of the railroad and wagon road for a battery of two 30-pounders and two 20-pounders,…
Peter C. Hains

May 20, 1863

May 20th, we remained there [before the works] until 3 P. M., when we moved to the left of our Division. On arriving there, we were ordered across an open field to gain a strong position behind a bluff, still nearer to the rebel works. We went over the field on double-quick, one company at a time, in full range of their artillery and infantry fire. The movement was very successfully executed, and our loss was one color-guard mortally wounded. Adjutant McGill made a narrow escape, with a ball through his cap. From this position we returned the enemy's fire with considerable effect. At 9 P. M. we were relieved by the 11th Wisconsin, and returned to the rear.
John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Wednesday 20th
Our cannon firing a little more briskly than yesterday. Firing of the Inf. Similar to that of yesterday & keeping the Rebs from Guns. Our heavy cannon firing very accurately. No change up to 9.15 A.M. [Serg't] Ben Ladd join Co. [A] though quite weak. Wrote note to My Wife at 9.30 A.M. Orders to prepare for charge at 1.00 P.M. Changed to go as far as possible. Our Regiment advanced and attached itself to the left of the 131st Ill. according to orders within 500 yards of works. Chaffin of Co. K - Color Guard - badly wounded in thigh. No other casualties. Forced the enemy to change position of one gun. Relieved after dark by a Co. of 77th Ill. who went on Picket in our front. Our Brigade returned to Ravine about 400 yards in rear of position. Our men constructing rifle pits & throwing up redoubts to plant batteries at night. Provisions very scarce but we expect plenty tomorrow - for we now have communication by way of Haines Bluff.
Cyrus Hussey

Report of Major Samuel H. Lockett, C. S. Engineers, chief Engineer, July 26, 1863.
Between the 18th and 22nd, the enemy succeeded in establishing their line of circumvallation at about the distance of 800 yards, extending from our extreme left to in front of the square redoubt on the right of Brigadier-General Lee's line. The fire of their artillery and sharpshooters soon became quite annoying, and showed the necessity of erecting numerous traverses to prevent enfilading fires, and the importance of having covered approached from the rear. All of these improvements were made as rapidly as possible by the engineers, with fatigue parties working at night.
Samuel H. Lockett


"That memorable charge on the Confederate works at Vicksburg on that bloody 22nd of May, 1863"

Of the many battles the 48th Ohio fought, three stand out in terms of the importance played by the regiment and the losses they suffered. The first was Shiloh, where they were among the first attacked, and where they held together with the rest of their brigade, serving as some of Gen Sherman's few dependable troops. The third was Sabine Crossroads, where their brigade was pushed to its limits and ordered into an ambush where they fought valiantly until flanked, and, out of ammunition, they were forced to surrender. The second was what Capt. Posegate would later recall as "That memorable charge on the Confederate works at Vicksburg on that bloody 22nd of May, 1863" where their brigade and that of Gen. Lawler charged the railroad redoubt and adjacent works, gained a precarious foothold, and were then driven from their positions because poor planning had failed to provide reserves to follow up on their partial success. Here the voice of Major Motes was silenced by a mortal wound and Cyrus Hussey recorded the names of men in his diary as they fell. Here Sergeant Vore planted the colors on the works and the color guard remained upon them, along side the colors of the 77th Illinois. Here Corporal Carman won his Medal of Honor for saving the colors from a furious countercharge by the Waul's Texas Legion. Bering and Montgomery state in the regimental history that:

Our army lost on the 22d, 3,000 killed and wounded, and nothing accomplished. Gen. Grant became convinced by this time that Vicksburg was too strong to be taken by assault, and therefore wisely concluded to lay a regular siege.

The basic disposition of the troops in front of the railroad redoubt can be seen in Grabau's excellent work "Ninety-Eight Days". Lawler's report in the OR, the existing fragment of Landram's report in the History of the 77th Illinois, Hussey's diary, Sullivan's report and Corporal Carmin's story allow us to piece together a reasonably consistent account of what happened on this important day in the history of the regiment.

The Railroad Redoubt was a fortified salient extending along the south side of the Southern Railroad of Mississippi, where it exited the defensive works around Vicksburg. The redoubt was designed by the Confederate engineers as part of a complex, including the Second Texas Lunette to the north and the Square Fort to the south, that provided enfilading fire covering the approaches to the works anywhere in this vicinity. Any assault on one of these forts had to carry the others as well if it was to be successful. The back side of the fort, which was defended by the 46th Alabama, was open. The rifle pits just to the south of the fort were defended by the 46th Alabama and the 30th Alabama. General Pemberton had selected elite troops, such as Waul's Texas Legion, to act as a reserve to shore up any breaks which occurred in the works, which were defended by troops thinly stretched along some parts of the defensive line. Waul's Texas Legion was stationed along the Railroad inside the works near the Railroad Redoubt.

On the 20th Carr's Division had moved in front, replacing A. J. Smith's Division in the front line. The 11th Wisconsin had specifically replaced the 48th Ohio. Landram's Brigade then moved into the ravine and helped dig emplacements for artillery that increasingly assailed the Rebel Works on the 21st.

All morning on the 22nd an intense artillery barrage pounded the works around Vicksburg as the two Brigades formed in lines. General Lawler's Brigade of Carr's Division was formed in double lines in front and Col. Landram's Brigade of A. J. Smith's Division formed in the rear, also in double lines. This formation, which would result in the mixing of troops from different divisions in the confusion of battle, seems foolish, but Grabau states that it was standard practice at the time. Also unwise was the lack of any reserve that resulted from the uniform assault at all points along the rebel works. Both Landram and McClernand would remind Gen. Grant of this in their reports, which did not serve to raise them in his favor.

Federal Assault on the Railroad Redoubt on May 22, 1863, 11:00 AM
Considerable mixing of regiments occurred once the vanguard reached the walls of the fort.
Map adapted from Grabau, Warren E., Ninety-Eight Days: A Geographer's View of the Vicksburg Campaign
and Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

On the Left: At 10:00 Lawler's Brigade moved forward. On the left, the 11th Wis. and the left companies of the 22nd Iowa charged past the tip of the Railroad redoubt and into a deep ravine filled with abatis. The ravine wall was too steep to advance, and the men were ordered by their commander to hold their positions in the ravine. The 97th Ill., which had been detached from Landram's brigade, followed the 11th Wisconsin into the ravine and was pinned down along with them. At 1:30 Gen. McClernand ordered Col. Landram to send two regiments to Gen. Lawler's aid. The 19th Ky. and the 130th Ill. moved to the support of the troops in the ravine, only to join them in their hopeless situation.

On the Right: At 10:00 the main body of the 22nd Iowa charged the tip of the redoubt, which had been heavily damaged by artillery fire. The flag of the 22nd Iowa was planted on the works. A few of the men under Sergt. Joseph Griffith entered the fort, engaging the defenders in hand to hand combat and capturing a portion of the interior. The 21st Iowa followed, and remained in the ravine with elements of the 22nd Iowa. Col. Landram's Brigade came into action on this side about 10:45 when the 77th Ill. charged in to support the 22nd Iowa. They took and held a position along the railroad where they planted their flag on the works and also entered the fort. For a short time elements of the 77th Ill., the 22nd Iowa and at least one officer from the 130th Ill. were hotly engaged within the fort, before retreating to the walls of the works where the 77th Ill. held a position where the wall of the redoubt meets the railroad. At 1:00 the 48th Ohio joined the 77th Ill., after charging into a ravine, reorganizing themselves, and moving to the edge of the works. Color Sergt. Vore planted the flag on the works and the eight-man color guard remained on the works, adjacent to the 77th Illinois Color guard. Corp. Isaac Carman describes firing while a color guard member of the 77th loaded for him. The position of the 48th Ohio was near the works, since Corp. Carman was able to quickly consult with Capt. Posegate of Co. D about what to do with the flag.

The OR records a desperate message from Col. Landram to A. J. Smith:

Headquarters Second Brigade, Tenth Division,
May 22, 1863-2.40 p.m.
General Smith, Commanding Division:

Our men are holding the flanks of the fort in front of us. There is a heavy cross-fire upon us, and we have lost many killed and wounded. They are hurling hand-grenades upon us, and hurting us considerably in that way.

Yours, & etc.
W. J. Landram,
Brigade Commander

General Smith had no reserves to send into the breach. Had the attack been concentrated at several points, instead of all along the line, reserves might have made a breakthrough, but as it was, the assault would be in vain.

At 4:00, after several unsuccessful attempts by the 46th Ala. and Waul's Texas Legion failed to dislodge elements of Lawler's and Landram's brigades from the works, a charge by 35 volunteers from Waul's Texas Legion drove them from the wall, capturing the colors of the 77th Ill. It is this attack that is described in Isaac Carman's account about how he saved the colors of the 48th Ohio. The men held on in the ravine, finding what cover they could, until they were ordered to withdraw at 8:00 pm under the cover of darkness. The dead and wounded were left behind. The wounded suffered in the sun of day and cold of night for almost three days before a truce was arranged to remove them from the field.

The next few days the Union Army licked its wounds, tightened its grip to prevent a breakout or an attack from the rear by Johnson, and established its supply line from the Yazoo River. Food was plentiful again outside the walls. The real siege began.

Railroad Redoubt at Vicksburg
Monument to 48th OVI furthest approach at lower right.
Photo courtesy of Bruce Schulze,


May 21, 1863

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
…on the 21st the other 30-pounders on the right of the road. A small parapet was thrown up in front of each gun to protect the cannoneers from the enemy's riflemen. This battery, which was commanded by Major Maloney, of the First Infantry, U. S. Army, was increased in caliber during the latter part of the siege by mounting two 8-inch Dahlgren guns, procured from Admiral Porter's fleet, in the river, and moving the 20-pounders closer to the works and the chief of artillery for the necessary intrenching tools, and for proper siege materials, heavy guns, mortars, &c. Coehorn mortars were needed particularly. No mortars could be obtain, and only three 24-pounders (siege) and two 8-inch Dalgrens, in addition to the three 30-pounder Parrots belonging to the corps.
In the latter part of the siege the want of mortars was so severely left that I gave orders to have wooden mortars made, to be used with small charges of powder and light shells (6 and 12 pounds). Some naval hand thrown any considerable distance. Even when the approaches were only 10 feet from the ditch, it required an extraordinarily powerful man to throw one into the works.
The week elapsed before any considerable number of intrenching tools could be procured, in the mean time the most was made of the few that could be gathered together around camp and from the pioneers.
Peter C. Hains

The next day, May 21st, was employed in long-range artillery practice and maneuvering for advantageous positions.
John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Thursday 21st
Weather fine & has been since we invested this place. Carr's Div. In advance this morning. Our success up to last night but meager. I think we could take the place by storm but the loss would be severe. I think we had better reduce the place by siege & with long range cannon. Reinforcements arrived. Rebels repairing works last night. Mortar boats shelling the City. Rumors that reinforcements are coming to the enemy. Cannonading early in the morning. Two or three wounded on our side.
Cyrus Hussey

May 22, 1863

May 22d , orders were issued for a general assault along the lines at 11 o'clock A. M. The echo of the signal-gun had scarcely died away, when our brigade was ordered forward to take the fort in our front, situated on a hill, in an angle of their intrenchments, where their guns commanded every approach. Down the ravine we started on double-quick, checking our speed for a moment in a deep gully, to reform our line before facing the fort, whose incessant fire shook the ground at every discharge. Then on we went, up the hill, through the brush and undergrowth, but did not check our speed until the right of the Regiment, in conjunction with the left of the 77th Illinois, reached the fort. Leaping into the ditch, and climbing the parapet, the colors of the 48th Ohio and 77th Illinois were planted on the fort. The rebel gunners surrendered and were hurried to the rear. During this charge Major Moats was mortally wounded in the knee.

We were now exposed to an enfilading fire from the right and left, which was thinning our ranks at a fearful rate. We were left there to contend against great odds, without any assistance whatever. At 4 P. M. the rebels massed their troops on our front, and attacked us with great fury, and re-took the fort, capturing the colors and fifty men of the 77th Ills. Ike Carmin [Isaac Carman], one of our color guards, with a bayonet-wound in the leg, clung to our flag and saved it from sharing the same fate. This was the signal for a second attack on both sides. Another charge was ordered all along the line. It was a glorious sight to see our troops advancing in plain view over the hills, to our assistance. But as soon as they got within range of the rebel fire, they were mown down and almost annihilated. So destructive was the concentrated fire of the enemy, that not a single man of those sent to reinforce us reached our line. In the meantime, a few spades and shovels had been brought up, with which the Regiment hastily threw up rude entrenchments, from which they kept up an unceasing fire until dark, when the firing ceased and all became quiet. We remained on the battlefield until the town clock in Vicksburg struck the hour of 10 P. M., when we were ordered to retreat, which we accomplished without being discovered by the enemy. Before the engagement commenced, stretcher-bearers were detailed to carry the wounded of the Regiment off the battle-field. They succeeded in removing all the wounded to the rear.

When we retreated we attempted to carry off our dead, but on account of the darkness and the rugged nature of the locality, we had to abandon the undertaking, and leave them where they fell.

The following is an extract from the Cincinnati Commercial, of June 1st, 1863:

"On the left, Gen. McClernand commenced the assault earlier than any other commander. The first advance was made by McClernand's center, Gen. A. J. Smith's Divison of two brigades, commanded by Col. Landrum [Landram] and Gen. Burbridge. As early as 11 o'clock Col. Landrum's men took a fort, and were in actual possession of it. Gen. Osterhouse, on their left, made a breach in the south side of the works, with his artillery. There were two companies of rebel soldiers in it at the time. One of them ran away, and the other actually burrowed their way through the earth to our men in front, and surrendered as prisoners. Landrum [Landram], on obtaining possession of the fort, put a pioneer force at work to throw up earth-works in the rear, so as to bring the guns of the fort to bear upon the rebels. In constructing the fortifications, the rebels left the rear of all the forts open, to give them an opportunity to assail our men, in the event of our success in driving them out. The flags of the 48th Ohio, 77th Illinois and 19th Ky. floated from the inner slope of the parapet from half-past 11 A. M. till 4 P. M. At the latter hour the rebels were seen preparing for a charge, to re-take the fort. An entire brigade was about to be pitted against a few companies. Our men did not receive the support which had been promised them, and were compelled to fall back, leaving the enemy again in possession of the fort. The 48th Ohio acquitted itself very creditably in the affair. The conduct of its officers and men is highly spoken of. I enclose a list of the casualties of the Regiment. * * *

"List of killed and wounded, 48th Ohio: Lieut. Col. Parker, wounded in the face with rifle-ball; Maj. V. H. Moats, wounded in leg; Co. A, Serg't. John Yost, killed; Alonzo Smith, killed; Mahlon Davis, killed; David Woosley, wounded dangerously; Isaac McPherson, wounded dangerously; Isaac Carmin [Carman], wounded severely; Co. B, John Cooper, wounded dangerously; Isaac Scott, wounded dangerously; Co. C, Serg't. Charles Weber, killed; Serg't. J. D. Leonard, wounded slightly; Corp. Sam'l Hair, wounded slightly; George Pfister, wounded severely; L. A. Williams, wounded mortally; Co. D, Joseph Balon, killed; Serg't. John Wilson, wounded slightly; Co. E, Carl Hough, wounded severely; Henry Stitchter, wounded severely; Co. F, Lewis Farris, wounded dangerously; John Kead, wounded severely; Thos. O'Borke, wounded severely; Co. G, Serg't. James Sweet, killed; Peter A. Deler, wounded in the head; Co. H, Jacob Davidson, wounded severely; Co. I, Elliott J Bich, killed; John W. Hubbard, killed; Chris. O. Sroffe, killed; Co. K, Elias Conover, wounded slightly; Henry Knob, wounded slightly; W. A. Chaffin, killed. * * * Total, ten killed and twenty-five wounded. MACK."

The work entitled, "The Battles for the Union," in giving an account of that charge, says:

"The colors of the 48th Ohio and 77th Illinois were placed on the bastion, and within the next quarter of an hour the brigade of Benton and Burbridge, fired by this example, had carried the ditch of another strong earthwork, while Capt. White, of the Chicago Mercantile Battery, carried forward one of his guns by hand to the ditch, double shotted it and fired into the embrasures."

Gen. Sherman, in his "Memoirs," says:

"The two several assaults made May 22d, on the lines of Vicksburg, had failed, by reason of the great strength of the position, and the determined fighting of its garrison. I have since seen the position of Sevastopol, and without hesitation, I declare that at Vicksburg to have been the more difficult of the two."

John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
…On the 22nd instant, the Thirteenth Army Corps made an assault on the enemy's line, the salients B [Second Texas Lunette] and C [Railroad Redoubt] being the principal points of attack. The storming parties succeeded in scaling the parapet of C, it having been battered considerably by the fire from the 30-pounder battery, near the crossing of the wagon road over the railroad. The assault failed…
Peter C. Hains

Ten pieces of Artillery planted in front of our right last night. Our Reg't detached to join Gen. l of Carr's Div. Our Artillery playing briskly on the enemy. Mistake in above about our being detached. Our Brigade to support Lolly's [Lawler's] Brigade. Lolly in two lines & our brigade the same. 48th & 77th [Ill.] 1st line of ours & 19th [Ky.] & 97th [Ill.] the second. Charged on the works at 11.00 A.M. & took possession of our Fort. Firing kept up very briskly until time of this note 3.00 P.M. [Pvt.] Alonzo Smith [Co. A] mortally wounded & [Pvt. David] Woosly [Co. A, mortal wound] badly & Corp. Carman [Color-guard, Co. A] slightly. [Pvt. James Co. A] deserted ranks. Some 15 or 20 prisoners - deserters - came over. No information. Serg't [James] Sweet Co. G killed Some other wounded in the reg't. [Pvt. Joseph] Balow Co. "D" Killed. Maj. Moats wounded just below knee [wound mortal]. Serg't [John] Yost [Co. A] mortally wounded by shell in thigh. [Pvt.] Isaac McPherson [Co. A] severely wounded below the knee. Smith & Yost died of wounds in the evening. Rebels draw us out of the Fort in the evening & took some of the 77th [Ill.] & 22nd Iowa prisoners. They got the colors of the 77th Ill. Our Div. Draws back in night & formed in line about 600 yards from front.
Cyrus Hussey

A Flag The Rebels Didn't Get
By Isaac Carman

At ten o'clock on the morning of May 22d, at Vicksburg, our brigade captured a fort, together with a number of prisoners. The colors of the Forty-eighth Ohio and Seventy-seventh Illinois Infantry, were ordered to be planted on the fort, which was done by Sergeant Dave Vore and one of the Illinois men.

We were then in a very desperate position, and, in addition to the enemy's fire, received some of the shells of our own batteries, which fell short of their mark. To relieve myself somewhat of this uncomfortable situation. I unfixed my bayonet and dug a little trench near the top of the works, close by our flag. An Illinois man crawled beneath me into an excavation caused by the explosion of a shell. We arranged that he should reload our guns, while I continued firing at the enemy whenever one of them would come within my sight and range. This lasted several hours, when the rebels brought a battery to bear on my position, and, for some time shells were singing their song so dangerously near to my head, that my position became hardly tenable. A little letter the enemy began massing troops at this point. I was able to distinctly hear their commands and see their numerous bayonets. Then I thought it high time to notify our officers of the danger our flag was in. I noticed that our men were some distance behind, in the ditch but determined to rescue the flag, [I] rushed back, and received from Capt. Posegate [Co. D] the permission to get it, if possible. I seized it none too soon, for the terrific assault came sooner than I expected.

I reached the top of the bastion and grasped the Ohio flag; the Illinois standard could not be saved. How I got down and paced the hundred feet to our ditch, through all that tremendous fire, I cannot tell. In my great haste I ran right into the bayonet of one of my own company [Co. A], who was then in charging position. Driving its entire length into my leg and thigh. Although I almost dropped into a faint, I had enough presence of mind to run the shaft of the flag into the ground and hang onto it. My comrades pulled me down into their ditch and got the bayonet out of my leg. I was taken to the rear.

Isaac A. Carmen [Carman]

Besides the exploit which Corporal Isaac H. Carmen [Carman] here describes, he also saved the lives of a number of his comrades, by seizing a shell with a burning fuse, and throwing it back to the Rebels, whence it came, slaughtering them with their own weapon of death, intended for Union men.

W.F. Beyer and O.F. Keydel, 1903
Deeds of Valor: How America's Civil War Heroes Won the Medal of Honor, Perrien-Keydel Co. Detroit. Michigan: Reprint of above by Longmeadow
Press. Stamford. CT. 1992
(pp. 201-202)

Report of Col. Peter J. Sullivan (not present at event)

May 22, we engaged in the charge on the enemy's fortifications in rear of Vicksburg, and, after a most sanguinary and bloody engagement, succeeded in planting our bullet riddled flag on the enemy's fort nearly in front of us, where it remained till evening, when the enemy massed his forces in vastly superior numbers to ours, and regained the possession of the fort. Perceiving his intention, we saved our flag before the charge was made.

At 10 P.M. we were ordered to fall back. The Forty-eighth was never driven back from its position near the fort until ordered to fall back, as above stated. There were none with our flag while planted on this fort save the color-guard, the regiment being a little to the left of the fort at the time.

Those brave fellows, the color-guard, who were in the charge on the enemy in the rear of Vicksburg on May 22, ought to be remembered and held up as true heroes by the brave and true. Their names are David L. Vore, Company E, Color Sergeant; Isaac H. Carmin [Carmen], corporal Company A; Isaac Scott, corporal Company B; Metcalf Bell, corporal Company F; Jesse Ellis, private Company D; Allan Pierce, corporal Company D; Albert N. Shumard, corporal Company G; James D. Wolf, private Company K.

Our casualties in this engagement were, so far as I have been able to ascertain, 32 enlisted men killed, wounded and missing; also Major Moats, one of our bravest and truest of men, was mortally wounded, and has since died. Captain Gunsallus, of Company F, a gallant and deserving officer, was severely wounded, but is, I am happy to say, fast recovering. Lieut. Col. Job R. Parker, by some means or other, received a very slight flesh wound on the cheek-bone, mearly breaking the skin. He shortly after retired from the field, and on May 31 went hoime on a 20 days leave of absence. He has never returned to his regiment nor reported to these headquarters.
Peter J. Sullivan (OR 8/4/63)

[Statements about Col. Parker made by Col. Sullivan have to be viewed in light of the antagonsitic relationship that existed between the two men. See the War between the Colonels. Parker's wound is sometimes called a slight wound from a musket ball, but Dr. P. A. Willis, Surgeon of the 48th O.V.I., and Wm. Watt, Assistant Surgeon of the 48th O.V.I., who actually treated him on the battlefield, stated the wound was from "the bursting of a shell while he was leading the charge on the enemy's fortifications [at Vicksburg] on the 22nd of May [1863]. The shell burst near his head producing a severe concussion, besides bruising & lacerating his face." Parker's wound superficially looked slight, but the trauma of the concussion probably was not. Just after he was mustered out Col. Parker died of what appears to be tuberculosis. He was also suffering from this and extreme diarrhea which delayed his return to the regiment. Col. Sullivan also makes similar remarks about Parker's wound at Arkansas Post. He states that "there were no casualties among the commissioned officers [at Arkansas Post] except a slight flesh-wound which Lieut. Col. Job R. Parker, of said regiment, received at long range in his left forearm, just as the regiment was marching up to its position. And before it was engaged in the action. He immediately retired from the field, and Capt. Peterson, of Company K, then took command and led the regiment into action A few days after he was so wounded, Lieutenant-Colonel Parker went home on a twenty days' leave of absence, and did not again rejoin his regiment until the 27th of April, 1863. Soon after this engagement Capt. Peterson resigned and Capt. Lindsey took command of the regiment." Col. Sullivan neglects to say that Parker returned immediately after he had the wound dressed. Col. Parker set himself up for these attacks by not promptly writing reports on the battles himself. But for Sullivan, who was on leave because of a wound himself for a far longer time, to obliquely attack Parker for doing the same thing hardly seems fair.]

Report of Col. Landram, Brigade Commander.

The advance was conducted in fine style and the men fought bravely. The loss in killed and wounded on this day (May 19th) was sixty-three. On the 20th the 19th Kentucky relieved the 77th Illinois, and together with the 97th and 130th Illinois, skirmished with the enemy during that day. On the 21st the brigade was relieved, and on the 22d was ordered to act as a reserve for the Brigade of General Lawler, of General Carr's Division, which was ordered to storm the enemy's works at ten o'clock A.M. The 77th Illinois and 48th Ohio were ordered to follow the two regiments of General Lawler's Brigade that advanced on his right, and the 19th Kentucky to follow the 97th Illinois which was ordered to report to General Lawler on the left. This movement of the Reserve in columns closed upon the advance, was not in accordance with the plan I had proposed, but being ordered by General Lawler, who had the front, was obeyed.

The Reserve in moving over rough and rugged ground closed upon the advance, was exposed to a constant fire which it could not return, whereas if it had been kept in reserve distance, in rifle range of the enemy's works, it could have covered the advance of General Lawler by a well-directed fire which would have annoyed the enemy and saved the lives of many men, besides being in a position to go to the support of the Brigade in front in proper time.

As it was, all the men were rushed forward in haste, were much wearied, and compelled to stand for nine hours under the hottest fire I ever witnessed. All the troops of the Brigade, with the exception of a few skulkers, behaved with the greatest gallantry. The flag of the 77th Illinois (Col. D. P. Grier) was the first raised upon the large fort in our front, and the two flags of that Regiment, together with that of the 48th Ohio, were the only ones raised upon the fort. [The 22nd Iowa was on the other side of the fort and also claimed the only flag on the works.] The flag of the 130th Illinois was planted in the ground within about ten feet of the fort. I am confident that no troops ever fought better or behaved more nobly than those of this Brigade.

Late in the afternoon the enemy massed their forces in our front and made a desperate effort to dislodge us from our position, which was close to the works, part of the men being inside of the fort, For a moment the men were surprised and wavered, but Col. Grier, Lieut. Col. Webb and Major Hotchkiss of the 77th, and Col. Niles, of the 130th Illinois, waved their swords and rallied their men who opened upon the enemy and by a brilliant charge drove them again from the fort.

The artillery in the rear at that moment rendered the most valuable assistance, in throwing a well-directed and vigorous fire into the enemy's works. I cannot speak too highly in praise of Colonel Grier and his noble Regiment. Their loss was 114 in killed and wounded in a single day. By this determined resistance we were enabled to hold the ground we occupied at the fort until ten o'clock at night, when we were ordered to withdraw."

Col. W. J. Landram, Brigade Commander
From the History of the 77th Illinois

May 23, 1863

May 23d, we occupied our old camp,…
John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Saturday 23rd
Moved into Ravine & lay until dusk [on 22nd], then went with Brigade across R.R. Buried Smith & Yost in one grave near Hqs. Of 10th (Smith's Div.) Division in rear of house on knoll - in edge of woods. (J.Y. A. 48 A.S. A. 48 O.V.)
[On 24th] Commanding works during the day & mortars at night.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)

…on the 23rd, instant it was announced in orders from headquarters of the army that the place would be invested at once, and a siege by regular approaches commenced.

I immediately had as accurate a survey of the ground in front made as was possible with the assistance at hand. The salients B, C, and D were selected as the points of attack, one point of attack for each division of the corps, and proceeded to open the first parallel and establish enfilading and counter batteries.

Peter C. Hains

May 24, 1863

Sunday 24th
Lay in same position. M. [Pvt. Mahlon] Davis [Co. A] died about 2.00 A.M. Was buried in same place as Smith & Yost - M. Davis A. 48. O.V. -
Wrote note to My Wife. Wrote to Mrs. Edna Smith of the death of her son Alanzo. Wrote to Mrs. Edna Yost of the Death of John Yost. Wrote to Mrs. Sarah Davis of the Death of her husband.
Cyrus Hussey

May 25, 1863

… but few shots were exchanged between the two armies until the 25th, when the rebels agreed to cease hostilities for two hours in order to permit us to bury our dead and remove our wounded, some of whom were left on the battle-field where they fell. During the truce we proceeded to the position occupied by our Regiment during the assault. The rebel Colonel, in command of the fort on which we planted our flag on the 22d, informed Col. Parker that they had buried all the dead in that vicinity. The battle-field presented a ghastly sight. The dead lay thick, in every conceivable position, on the hill-side beneath the rebel intrenchments. Some of the wounded were still alive, but in a terrible condition, having lain between the contending armies for three days without food, water or medical attention. After the burial parties had performed their sad task, we withdrew from the field, and the firing was resumed on both sides.
John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Monday 25th
Laying in same position. No infantry firing but Pickets. Suspension of hostilities in P.M. to bury the dead. Our men & the Rebs talked a great deal together. They seem disposed to fight it out. Mail went out in the Morning. With 4 letters to My Wife. No appetite after breakfast. Sick.
Cyrus Hussey


The Siege

Having failed twice in efforts to take Vicksburg by storm Gen. Grant decided to "outcamp the enemy." On June 23rd he ordered "a siege by regular approaches." The attention of A. J. Smith's men again shifted north. On May 19th they had attacked the works south of the Railroad Redoubt and on the 22nd they made a frontal assault on the Railroad Redoubt. Now the actions of their division would be directed at the Second Texas Lunette, the fort just north of the Railroad redoubt. The siege was slow, dangerous, and dirty work. Bering and Montgomery describe it as follows:

Our duty was to dig and man one of the rifle-pits, which was within one hundred yards of one of their main forts. To approach these rifle-pits, tunnels were made through the hills, thus connecting the ravines. The details for pickets and for digging rifle-pits, were always sent to their posts and relieved very quietly during the night. In some places we succeeded in digging the rifle-pits to within a few feet of their fort, being protected from their musketry by large bundles of cane, that were kept in front while approaching, the enemy in the meantime trying to get possession of the cane by means of hooks attached to long poles, or destroying them by throwing turpentine-balls and setting them on fire, while our men in return would annoy them by throwing hand grenades and short-fuse shells into their fort, which usually elicited quite a spirited conversation between the combatants.

The troops were encamped in the numerous ravines. Our Regiment was in a ravine near the R. R. bridge, and within reach of the enemy's guns, but the hills protected us from their direct fire. Nevertheless, stray shots were too numerous to be comfortable. Several men were wounded in their tents, but none fatally in our Regiment.

The Corps of Engineers

Dedicated To Stephen A. Williams (June 24, 1913-Dec. 19, 2000),
Grandson of Capt. F. M. Posegate of the 48th OVI
and Engineer in the St. Louis District of the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers.

During the Civil War the insignia of the Corps of Engineers was the castle. It still is. "Engineer" was originally a military term which referred to the mechanically clever soldiers who directed the use of siege engines. They also designed fortifications; thus the castle is a very appropriate symbol for the Corps of Engineers.

The siege is an ancient art of war, which through the ages has employed some of the world's greatest minds. Archimedes, Michelangelo, and Galileo all devoted a portion of their life to its study. By the time of the revolutionary war its methods were well developed. General Washington watched as the French Engineers reduced Yorktown, delivering the victory to his troops. He and others were so impressed with the need for engineers that our nation's first school of engineering, West Point, was established in 1802.

At Vicksburg, West Point educated engineers in gray had designed the fortifications around Vicksburg before May 19, 1863. On May 23, 1864 Grant ordered the city invested, and the generals of the Army of the Tennessee followed the directions of Captains and Lieutenants wearing the castle insignia. West Point Engineers on the Union side would reduce the fortified city using time-tested methods. The troops in Vicksburg might break out and abandon the city, or they could hold it for a month or two in the hopes that General Johnson might send enough troops to raise the siege before they were forced to surrender, but without outside intervention the fate of Vicksburg was sealed.

In the sector occupied by the 48th OVI the operations of the Thirteenth Army Corps followed the directions of 1st Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Engineers. His report (OR XXIV Series 1, Part 2, pp. 180-187) is a sequential description of the engineering of the siege in his sector. Because it gives a clear overview of the design and planning of the siege, it has been added to the daily entries. Lieut Hains' reports also illustrate just how serious the Confederate's situation was when they surrendered. It was not just that they were nearly out of food. The fortifications had been approached closely, and attacks were about to be launched at a number of points in which the well-fed Union troops held every advantage. General Pemberton wisely sought terms. Lieut. Hains reported "July 4. - All operations ceased; Vicksburg surrendered… In front of the Thirteenth Corps, the nearest approach was only about 10 feet from the ditch; the second about 30 feet, and the third about 35."

Biography of Lt. Peter C. Hains

A. J. Smith's Approach to the 2nd Texas Lunette
Map adapted from one in the Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division


View photos of the 2nd Texas Lunette
and A. J. Smith's approach at


May 26, 1863

Tuesday 25th
Quite sick. Very bad diarrhea & feaverish. Ate nothing since breakfast yesterday. But little d[o]ing except the artillery. Suspension of hostilities in P.M. to bury the dead.
Cyrus Hussey

May 27, 1863

Wednesday 27th
Still quite poorly. Got medicine of Dr. Watts. Wrote note to My Wife. Medicine helped me & I felt strong in the P.M. Went to Hos. To stay until I am able for duty. Rather quiet during the day.
Serg't Ladd quite poorly.
Cyrus Hussey

May 28, 1863

Thursday 28th
Recd short letter from my Wife of 8th inst. My health but little, if any, better. Everything very quiet in the morning. Wrote to My Wife. Recd letters from My Wife of 12th & 18th insts. recd notice of discharge of H.J. Frazier by mustering Officer. Recd communication from Jont. Chance asking Roll. Wrote note to Capt. Robbins.
Cyrus Hussey

May 29, 1863

Friday 29th
Wrote letter to William McVay concerning the death of his son Edward. Wrote note to My Wife. All our cannon opened on Rebs at 6.00 A.M. & fired 1/2 hour. Terrific. Short cannonading again in evening. Mortars shelling during the night. Expecting that the Rebs will try and cut their way out. My health is a little better - though still quite weak.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
May 29 and 30. -More tools were procured and large detail worked. The opening of the first parallel commenced.
Peter C. Hains

May 30, 1863

Saturday 30th
Made & forwarded inventories & Final Statements of Serg'ts Yost & McVay & Privates M. Davis & Smith [all of Co. A] to Adjt Gen. Of Army. Sent Des. Roll to Lt. C. Conard. My health improving. But little firing during the day. Sent $5.00 to Corneal.
Cyrus Hussey

May 31, 1863

Sunday 31th
1/2 hour cannonading at 3.00 A.M. & a little in P.M. when the enemy threw a few shells at an observatory we constructing. My health better. The Equipage sent by Vicksburg turned up, to prevent the Guerrillas from getting it & at James Plantation, La.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
May 31. -The pioneer corps under Captain Patterson were instructed to make gabions and fascines, and collect them in their camp, in the hollow, about 1,000 yards from the enemy's works. This point will serve as a depot for the trenches.
Peter C. Hains

June 1, 1863

Monday June 1st
Wrote to My Wife. Put up things to send by Col. Parker to my Wife. Lent Col. Parker $10. To be paid to my Wife when he gets "to home." Wounded sent to River except Carmin [Isaac Carman]. Weather quite warm. Going to seal up this diary to forward by Col. Parker.
Cyrus Hussey

June 1st

My Dear Wife:

In the back of this book you will find that I owe Mrs. Bolin, who lives in Samantha, 75c. If you have an opportunity you may pay her. If B.F. Brown should ever present the note he holds against me for $10 you may pay him the face of the note (less the $1.50 he owes me) without interest. If he had not deserted it would have been paid long since & I am not willing to pay interest. If he is not satisfied with the principal pay him nothing. If you have an opportunity collect the $3.00 from William Baxla of Co. "D". I am not aware that I owe any other person anything - except Sutler whose account it is not expected you will ever pay. You can see nearly the amt. For your satisfaction in the back of book. If there is anything in here that disagrees with your sentiments you can pitch into me in your next. I need another Diary as soon as I can get one.

I want one like this - heavier cover if you can get one. Forward by mail as soon as you can get one. I am not particular about style so it is as good as this one.

Everything is very quiet this evening - no firing by either party.

I have Sanders charged with $1.00. but he thinks I owe him $10.00. You need not do anything with his case.



Diary Volume 3

[The next volume of Cyrus Hussey's diary begins on June 1, 1863]


June 1, 1863

Monday June 1st 1863
Sent my old Diary to my wife by Col. Parker who starts tomorrow morning for Highland [Ohio]. Such a bundle & a larger envelope containing commissions, letters &c -- all sealed up.

Went with the Co. & Reg't out in the Trenches at night. My health still poor. Sharp firing about 1:30 PM but the enemy showed no disposition to advance.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
June 1. -A small trench was pushed forward from General Hovey's right, to gain the crest of a hill that is occupied by our sharpshooters during the day, and give them better cover, as well as a passage to the place by daylight. Other details were employed, varying from 200 to 300 men, in strengthening the batteries which had to be thrown up hastily against the artillery fire of the enemy. The parapets of most of the batteries are still very thin. The enemy use artillery very little, sometimes not firing a single shot during the whole day. The 30-pounders do good service whenever the enemy open an artillery fire.
Peter C. Hains

June 2, 1863

Tuesday, June 2nd
Relieved at daylight. Feeling worse on account of exposure. Col. Parker & I. H. Carmin [Corp. Isaac Carman, Co. A] started home in the morning. Made & filed certificate of lost Arms. Fire in the city last night. Weather quite warm.
Cyrus Hussey


Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
June 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. - Details were employed along the first parallel to finish it, making it wide enough for artillery to pass through. At the same time the approaches to the salients in front of Generals Smith's and Carr's divisions were commenced, the ravine on the right of the wagon road was taken advantage of as an approach to the salient B [2nd Texas Lunette], seeing much labor could by this means be avoided. The ground along the road was so hard that to approach by boyaus there would be a difficult piece of work, especially as we have no sappers and depend entirely on the troops of the line for every shovelful of dirt thrown up. The railroad cut affords facilities to approach C [Railroad Redoubt] that are at once taken advantage of. From the bottom of the ravine to the right of the wagon road a rifle-pit was thrown up for sharpshooters some days ago. This has been widened to a regular trench. It is intended to connect this with the second parallel of Carr's division as soon as he reaches the hill on the opposite side of the ravine, in his front.

In General Hovey's front two 24-pounder siege guns were mounted (Battery Number 5). In front of General Carr's division, a two gun battery (Number 6) was constructed for the 20-pounder Parrots to the left of the wagon road and about 300 yards from B [2nd Texas Lunette]. The battery intended to counter B and enfilade the left face of C [Railroad Redoubt], at least what appears to be the left face of C. The exact from of the work from this battery is so short that blinds had to be arranged in the embrasures to protect the cannoneers from the enemy's riflemen. This was done here, as in several other batteries, by a door swung on a horizontal axis at the throat of the embrasure. In some cases a bag stuffed tightly with cotton has been tried, and proved to be effectual resistance to a Minie ball at from 300 to 400 yards, in other cases a heavy wooden collar has been used around the breach of the gun, with a narrow, vertical opening in it, the opening in the collar being parallel and close to the vertical opening in the pendulum house, causing no inconvenience in sighting the gun.

In General Smith's front two were mounted in Battery No. 7, on the extreme right, also two more in the ravine, to sweep the two ravines in front, in case the enemy made a sortie in that direction. These guns were not put here by my instructions. In General Carr's front a two gun battery. (No. 8.) was constructed and guns mounted. The position is a commanding one, and the fire of the guns can enfilade the right face of C [Railroad Redoubt]. There has been but little firing along the enemy's line the last few days from their artillery.
Peter C. Hains

June 3, 1863

Wednesday, June 3rd
Wrote to Mrs. Yost, Mrs. Smith, Mrs. Davis & Mr. McVay that final statements of their diseased relatives had been forwarded to A. G. [Adjutant General] of the Army.
Got affidavit of Peter Dillon of Co. "C" as to burning of property by the Guard at James Plantation. Last filled it with papers.
My Rheumatism better today. Wrote to my Wife. The Rebels threw several solid shot over our camp.
Cyrus Hussey

June 3d, Lieut. Col. J R Parker, having received a leave of absence, went home, leaving Capt. Lindsey in command of the Regiment. - Shortly after, Col. Sullivan arrived and took command.
John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880.


Orders to Col. P. J. Sullivan to return to his regiment, 19 June 1863
Don Worth's collection

June 4, 1863

Thursday, June 4th
Health still improving. Bought a pair of Jeans Pants $5.00 worth $3.00. Heavy cannon being brought forward. Duty very heavy at least every other day. Property brought from grand Gulf to Warrenton.
Cyrus Hussey


June 5, 1863

Friday, June 5th
Cool and cloudy in the morning. Teams gone to Warrenton after property. Co. Property arrived at night. Left the Hospital and joined the Co.
Cyrus Hussey


June 6, 1863

Saturday, June 6th
Wrote a long letter to my Wife. My health good-Rheumatism left me. I am gaining strength.
Cyrus Hussey


June 7, 1863

Sunday, June 7th
Mortar received then bombardment. Recd notice of error in Corneal's [Cornelius Conrad's] Muster-in. News came that the 23rd Iowa and Negro Troops had repulsed an attacking party at Millikins bend-Loss heavy on both sides. Co. Inspection in the morning.
Cyrus Hussey


June 8, 1863

Monday, June 8th
Operations same as usual-pushing up pits, bombarding, &c. Made and filed certificate of lost Cols. E. & Inspected equipments of Co. & made list of amt. on hand. Sent Alice Conrad's Picture to Corneal [Conrad]. 50 deserters from Rebels last night. Unwell.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
June 8. - An important advance was made in General Smith's front, to the right of the ravine that runs parallel to the road. A battery (Number 9) was commenced for two guns on the right of the ravine. It has an enfilading view of one of the faces of B [2nd Texas Lunette]; 12-pounder howitzer will be mounted there, to use small charges of powder, with high degrees of elevation. No mortars can be obtained, and the want of them is severely felt. Other guns have been mounted near the road, on the hill once occupied by a dwelling-house, commonly known as the "burn chimneys". Captain Jackson, of General Hovey's DIVISION, has a detail employed in building magazines; one a general supply magazine the others for the batteries.
Peter C. Hains

June 9, 1863

Tuesday, 9th
Quite sick. Severe headache & pain in stomach & bowels with diarrhea. Taking medicine. Regt. went into pits at night. Div. out. No movement of Rebs-no fighting. Worse at night. mail came in-nothing for me.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
June 9. - On the right as detail was employed to work on the Second parallel, but does not progress so rapidly as desirable. The ground is very hard, and complaints already begin to be made of being worked hard. The weather is very warm. This retards the work more than anything else. The men cannot work at all during the middle of the day. General Carr's detail were at work pushing forward the railroad approach, and the other to the left of Battery Number 8. General Hovey's details still work at widening of the trenches and making the batteries in his front stronger. The 24-pounders have been moved farther to the right of Battery Number 10. They are used daily in trying to destroy the mill, where it is said, the enemy grind all their corn.
Peter C. Hains

June 10, 1863

Wednesday, 10th
Paid servant "Elick" to May 31, 1863. My health better. Cloudy and prospect of rain. Rained nearly all day. Wrote letter to my Wife & expressed anxiety & surprise at not getting any letters for the last 4 or 5 mails. Mortars keep up constant bombardment. Some stray shots came into camp today-no one hurt.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
June 10, 11, and 12. - Owing to the heavy rain on the 11th, no work was done that night. In front of General Smith I made a reconnaissance placed a detail at work at 75 yards from B. They only worked at night, however. The ravine will be used itself as an approach. The boyaus [A winding or zigzag trench forming a path or communication from one siegework to another] to the left of Battery Number 8 have nearly reached the bottom of the ravine, after which they will be under perfect cover. A detail was also employed in throwing up Battery Number 11 for two 30-pounder Parrotts, to be moved from their present position as soon as the two 8-inch. Dahlgrens arrive, which are daily expected, and will take their place.
Peter C. Hains


June 11, 1863

Thursday, 11th
Raining hard nearly all last night. Cleared off this morning. Metcalf & Co.-Sutlers-joined the Reg't in the evening.
Cyrus Hussey


June 12, 1863

Friday, 12th
Bombardment heavier. Heavier ordinance at work. Mail but not letter from me from home. Wrote up register of C.C.G.E. & Q.M. Property. Health indifferent.
Cyrus Hussey

June 13, 1863

Saturday, 13th
Rebs shelling with a small mortar. My health better. Operations as usual-Making steady advances-loss very light.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
June 13. - The approach that was started from the head of the ravine, near B, was run a short distance last night. The enemy allow us to work at night, but not during the day. The approach had a branch started to the right. On the left of the road an underground arrangement has been pushed forward some 80 or 90 feet. The boyaus to the left of Battery. Number 8. Reached the bottom of the ravine, in front of General Carr. General Hovey's advanced trenches are still being worked at, I gave directions for sapping materials to be prepared and be ready when the approaches cannot be made without cover.
Peter C. Hains

June 14, 1863

Sunday, 14th
Brisk firing today. The enemy trying to dislodge our fatigue party by shells and grape from a small cannon. Wrote to my Wife.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
June 14. - General Smith continues his work on the advanced sap at the head of the ravine. A demi-parallel has been partially completed to the right of it. A detail was employed also in arranging loop-holes on the top of the parapet with sand-bags, to enable our riflemen to keep down those of the enemy without exposure. The left approach in General Carr's front was advanced across the ravine and up the hill a short distance.
Peter C. Hains

June 15, 1863

Monday, 15th
Mail came in-nothing for me. Had charge [of] a fatigue party at night making pits about 150 yds from the fort. Unusually quiet all night. My health not very good.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
June 15. - The advanced trenches were pushed forward along the whole line. General Smith is now so close that every movement has to be made with the greatest caution. The ground in his front is still too rough to use a sap roller. This morning the enemy opened one gun from the work on the right, to test the strength of the parapet. They did no damage whatever, their shells passing through the parapet, scarcely leaving a trace in it of their passage. General Carr's advance reached the top of the hill nearest the enemy's works. General Hovey has advanced his left some 200 yards and opened a second parallel. On General Smith's right a new battery (Number 12) was constructed.
Peter C. Hains

June 16, 1863

Tuesday, 16th
Tired & Sleepy. Quite cool-raining in the evening. Wrote to my Wife.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
June 16,17, and 18. - General Smith's approaches to Fort B [2nd Texas Lunette] were advanced a short distance; the one on the left of the ravine reached the opposite side of the road. The ground is very hard, however, General Smith had detail at work farther to the right, finishing up his advanced trenches at that point. In front of General Carr's DIVISION the railroad approach was pushed forward some 50 yards. From the left boyaus the second parallel has been commenced, which will run along the ridge near the enemy's line, and join the second parallel of General Smith's across the railroad. General Hovey, in addition to the advances he is making, is preparing furnaces for heating shot for the 24-pounders, to burn the mill.
Peter C. Hains

June 17, 1863

Wednesday, 17th
Rebs Mortar busy-doing us no damage. Health poor. Recd letters from my Wife of 5th & 8th inst. Wrote to Isaac. Wrote to my Wife answering both her letters. More large guns being mounted in position.
Cyrus Hussey

June 18, 1863

Thursday, 18th
Ham, flour & "Elick's" money stolen last night. Wrote to Corneal-sent for envelopes. Jess [2nd Lt. Jesse H. Allison, Co. A] quite sick. Recd letter from Betsy Conrad concerning accounts of Mahlone Davis &c.
Cyrus Hussey

June 19, 1863

Friday, 19th
Ans. Mr. Conrad's letter. Orders to be ready for any emergency.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
June 19. - Very little firing to-day. They gave a few rounds from a gun in a new work they have thrown up behind their main line. All our batteries opened on it, and in a few minutes it was silenced. The approaches of Generals Smith and Carr are closing up. General Hovey a little backward. There sap-rollers were finished to-day. The ground sap-roller was made of solid cane and of the usual dimensions, but was made with and interior gabion. This was crushed, of its own weight, in being rolled. The THIRD was made by taking two barrels, placing them head-to-head, bracing them well inside, and lashing one row weight, in being rolled. This one could be used but the grounds is of such a character that a heavier one cannot be worked with facility. To make the gabion roll easily, the space between the outside fascines, on the circumference, was filled with smaller bundles of cane, and well lashed together with telegraph wire. Major-General McClernand relieved from command of the Thirteenth Army Corps. General Ord takes his place.
Peter C. Hains

June 20, 1863

Saturday, 20th
Our entire line of Artillery opened at 4:00 A. M. & Kept up tremendous & unceasing cannonading until 6.00 A.M. when the troops were put under Arms. The bombardment was afterward Kept up till the troops were dismissed.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
June 20. - The approaches in front of General Smith progressing slowly. The enemy's pickets in front of General Carr's DIVISION have entered into an agreement with the latter's pickets not to fire on each other at night. They allow our men to work in ful view, and make no attempts to stop it. Last night the picket officer was directed to crowd his pickets on the enemy's, to allow the working party to push on the SECOND parallel. Two lines of pickets, the enemy's and ours, were then not more than 7 or 8 yards apart, and in full view of each other. A working party was then stretched out in rear of our line, and the work begun. The enemy' picketers could the see it all, but did not offer to molest us. By this means a trench was opened within 60 yards of their salient C. It is matter of wonder how they allowed us this night to approach so close without offering any resistance. Although it in not customary to allow an enemy's pickets so close to the operations places as to have rendered it difficult to have carried on the work in this manner at any other point along the line. An advance of about 100 yards was made in General Hovey's front. Other details were employed in the trenches already commenced. Battery Number 13. Was begun, in which to mount two 20-pounder Parrots, taken from the four-gun in which to mount two 20 pounder Parrot battery. It will enfilade one of the faces of the to be a redoubt. It appears so from the fact that they have to cross a bridge to enter the work. This battery will destroyed the bridge in a short time.
Peter C. Hains

June 21, 1863

Sunday, 21st
Commenced a letter to my Wife but wrote only a few lines.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
June 21. - On the right, in addition to the sap on the left of the road, another was commenced to the right, to gain the eminence on the flank of the salient B. The want of sappers is now at this point more felt than herefore. A different detail goes to work every day, who know nothing of what is to be done, and much valuable time is lost in repeating instructions. The enemy caused some annoyance by throwing handgrenades. The distance, however was rather too great, and consequently they did little or no damage. In front of General Carr's DIVISION the details were employed principally on the SECOND parallel.
Peter C. Hains

June 22, 1863

Monday, 22nd
Recd my Wife's letters of may 26th & June 13th. Recd and answered letter of Jacob Davis Concerning [Pvt.] Elihu [Davis, Co. A]. Finished letter to Wife commenced yesterday.
Cyrus Hussey

Report of Col. Peter J. Sullivan (present at event)
Fired with the determination of aiding in the reduction and capture of Vicksburg, at my own special request I was released from detached service at Memphis, and on the evening of June 22 last I rejoined my regiment, then in the rear of Vicksburg…
Peter J. Sullivan (OR 8/4/63)

June 22d, Lieut. J. H. Allison, A. D. C. on the staff of Col. Landrum [Landram], being sick, Lieut. Montgomery was detailed to take his place during the siege.
John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
June 22 and 23. - The second parallel in front of Carr's division reached the railroad. The enemies opened with artillery on the heads of the advanced saps in front of General Smith. Several shells were put through the sap-rollers. They did not damage them materially, each shell pass in through, wedding itself as it were cutting comparatively few canes. A great many canes have been cut, however, by Minie bullets. The artillery fire caused the workmen all to leave, but they were returned at once. No one was hurt.
Peter C. Hains

June 23, 1863

Tuesday, 23rd
Expecting to march to Black River-did not go. Raining slowly at night. Col. Sullivan joined the regiment. His arrival caused very little joy. Part of our Div. marched toward Black River. Heavy skirmish on the left at night.
Cyrus Hussey

Report of Col. Peter J. Sullivan (present at event)
[I] resumed command [of the the 48th regiment]. Our troops in the mean time were digging their zigzag way up to the enemies breastworks. [Actually the Second Texas Lunette-- far more than breastworks]. Gradually we closed upon him…
Peter J. Sullivan (OR 8/4/63)

June 24, 1863

Wednesday, 24th
Raining slowly in the morning. Reg't Paid off. Got up recommendations for Capt. Lindsey for Ast. Judge Advocate Gen. & had them signed by the Officers of the Reg't. Recd recommendation for command of new regiment.
Cyrus Hussey

Report of Col. Peter J. Sullivan (present at event)
[I] resumed command [of the the 48th regiment]. Our troops in the mean time were digging their zigzag way up to the enemies breastworks. [Actually the Second Texas Lunette-- far more than breastworks]. Gradually we closed upon him…
Peter J. Sullivan (OR 8/4/63)

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
June 24. - Battery (No. 14) to the left of the 20-pounder battery, for the purpose of demolishing a bridge across the railroad cut, in the rear of the enemy's works. It is their only means of communication along the front line of works, and in case of an assault it will be of service to destroy it, as it will cause any re-enforcements to either side of the railroad to pass by a much longer and circuitous route. General Hovey has completed his second parallel, and commenced his approaches to Fort D. The enemy's pickets were pushed back some distance and an advance of 90 feet made. Empty barrels are used to revet the interior slope of the trenches. Battery Number 15. Was also built.
Peter C. Hains

June 25, 1863

Thursday, 25th
Went to Chickasaw Bayou & saw Maj. Hazleton, Chief Paymaster, Concerning erroneous payments by Maj. Jordon. His opinion was favorable & he said he would instruct Maj. Jordan. His opinion was favorable & he said he would instruct maj. Jordan. Maj. Gen. Jno. A. Logan's Div. blew up a Fort & it was followed by a heavy fire all along the whole line. The enemy kept Logan's men out only at great sacrifice. Reached Co. at dark-Quite tired & unwell. Recd my pay in morning $262.39 Every one confident that we will soon get the Rebel Stronghold.
Cyrus Hussey

On the 25th, Capt. F. M. Posegate, of Co. D, resigned.

Gen. McPherson, who had been undermining Fort Hill, had completed it by the 25th, and was then ready to blow up the fort. The troops were therefore placed in the advance rifle-pits, ready to rush into the breach and capture Vicksburg, should he be successful in blowing it up; but the explosion did not result in destroying the works to such an extent as to enable the troops to enter. After the explosion, we were ordered back to our camp.
John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
June 25. -In General Smith's front both saps were advanced a short distance. The one on the right of the road works much easier than the other. The latter passes over ground almost like rock. Other details were employed in arranging loop-holes, with sand-bags alone the top of the parapet. Many of the batteries need repairs also. The siege battery (No. 1) has been nicely reveted with sand-bags. In General Carr's front a saw was started from the second parallel of General Smith.
Peter C. Hains


June 26, 1863

Friday, 26th
Wrote to Mrs. Sophea Smith enclosing $1 recd for a shirt belonging to her Son. Rather quiet during the day. Sent $200.00 to my Wife by Adam's Express-paying freight & insurance. I requested her to pay J. S. Sander $9. Wrote to Mr. Sander to call upon her for the money. Did not pay insurance-the company would not insure. The freight was $1.50. Recd a letter from my Wife of 15th inst. Jess paid me for my old coat. Unusually quiet during the day. Our trenches advancing. Paid "Elick" [Hussey's servant] for June $5.00.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
June 26, 27, and 28. - A battery (No. 16) has been thrown up for two guns, and blinds made to cover the gunners from the enemy's riflemen. The approaches progress slowly; weather very warm….

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
The enemy are mining from the conterscarp of the ditch at B [2nd Texas Lunette]. They are very shy about it, however on the 28th, they sprung a small mine in front of the sap-roller, doing no damage whatever…
On the 28th (yesterday), the enemy put two more shots through the sap-roller on the right. No damage done, however, to the sap-roller. The sap on the left had some five or six shots put through it, bud did not render it useless. We still use it. The left approach of General Smith is now about 15 feet from the ditch. I made a novel reconnaissance of the enemy's ditch this morning, by means of a mirror attached to a pole, being raised above the sap-roller, and a little to the rear, and then inclined forward. A perfect view of the ditch was by this means obtained. The ditch is very narrow, and not more than 6 feet on the bottom, the second parallels have now been joined in front of Generals Smith and Carr, and are now continuos. On this parallel, near the wagon road, I have directed a new battery (No. 17) to be constructed for three guns, two for countering any new batteries the enemy MAY open in the rear of their line and also to Battery B. The other gun enfilades one of the faces of C [Railroad Redoubt]. The battery in only about 150 yards from nearly competed. This battery will clear the ditch of C, which is sometimes filed with men, from which they frequently fire. They seem to be at work there, wheeling hand-barrows along the left face, and, from the sounds that are heard, it is highly probable they are running a gallery from the counterscarp of the ditch, for the purpose of exploding a mine near us. I have directed a listening gallantry to be run out in the direction they appear to be, and change the direction of the sap slightly. In General Hovey's front we have approached to within about 20 yards of D [?]. The rebels seem to be at work in this ditch also.
Peter C. Hains

June 27, 1863

Saturday, 27th
Wrote my Wife answering her letter of 15th inst. Capt. Posegate's resignation accepted to take effect on the 25th inst. Some firing.
Cyrus Hussey


June 28, 1863

Sunday, 28th
Very quiet all day. Posegate gave Officers a treat at night.
Cyrus Hussey


June 29, 1863

Monday, 29th
Daniel Williams gave me $90 to keep for him. I gave him a note & sent the money to my Wife. Posegate started in the P.M. Recd letter from Ed Arthur relative to the removal of the remains of John Yost.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
June 29 and 30. - In General Smith's front the saps are now about as close as they can get without first clearing the rebel works in front by means of mortar shells. Coehorn mortars would be invaluable at the present time. We now occupy a portion of the crater made by the explosion of the enemy's mine.
Peter C. Hains

June 30, 1863

Tuesday, 30th
Mustered at 4.00 P.M. Recd letters from Hamp, Smith, Cashatt & James H. Dryden.
Cyrus Hussey


July 1, 1863

Wednesday, July 1st
Wrote to Jim Dryden. Making out rolls. Health not very good. Siege progressing well.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
July 1. - General Smith's approaches to B [2nd Texas Lunette] were pushed forward a short distance. The one on the right of the road nearly reached the top of the hill. I shall at once establish a place of arms just in the rear of it. On the left of the road the crater made by the explosion of the mine has been occupied. The sap-roller has been very much cut directions to have it covered at once with earth, and to establish a trench cavalier at that point when the enemy threw a fire-ball, which lodged under the edge of the sap-roller. They then threw hand-grenades into the fire made by the spreading of the inflammable fluid which it apparently contained; bursting, threw pieces all around it, tearing it considerably; at the same time they kept up an incessant fire of the salient C [Railroad Redoubt] the sap was moved forward a few yards, and a short distance made with the listening gallery. The enemy appear to work in a direction from us that leads me to think that they are deceived as to the direction we intend to take.
In front General Hovey's division a sap has been started from the nearest point of his advanced trench, to reach the counterscarp of the ditch, at a point not apparently enfiladed.
Peter C. Hains

July 2, 1863

Thursday, July 2nd
Wrote to my Wife at night. Impression prevails that we will charge the Rebel works on the 4th. The Cannon are being supplied with a large amt. of ammunition & We are getting impatient.
Cyrus Hussey

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
July 2. - In front of B little was done, owing to the burning of the sap-roller, which exposed a portion of the trench to full view. I directed the head of the sap to be filled up to-night with sand-bags, and the cavalier commenced a little to the rear of the point first intended. This will close the head of the sap, but still we will be only about 12 feet from the ditch. I directed a minie to be started to the ditch at the left face. It has been found desirable to use hand-grenades to clear the Fort B altogether, but the distance and height of the parapet are a little too great for 6-pounder shells, though not too great for them to throw at us. In order to have some means of throwing our shells into the fort, I have directed Captain Patterson, of the pioneers corps, to construct spring-boards for this purpose. I learned that General McPherson was using moats made of trunks of trees (guns trees being the best) to throw 6 and 12 pound shells, and directed him to make some of these also, shrinking about three iron bands around the mortar. These mortars, which are said to work admirably for about 100 rounds, will be finished and stuck in the ground in the advanced trenches, so they will only have to throw the shells about 50 or 75 yards, in compliance with orders, the trenches are being prepared to allow easy passage of troops over to him for an assault, in order to cross the pared, filled with cotton, well stuffed. Planks 18 feet long are being prepared to throw across the ditch, to allow the passage of an assaulting column.
Peter C. Hains

July 3, 1863

Friday, July 3rd
Rebel Gen. Bowen came out with a flag of truce about 9.00 A.M. to make arrangements for conference. He was received by Gen. [A. J.] Smith but Grant declined to treat with anyone but Pemberton. Grant & Pemberton had a Consultation at 3.00 P.M.-result unknown. We hope to spend the 4th in Vicks. Finished Rolls & forwarded returns of Q.M. property. Maj. Jorden rectified his error in payment of Privets E. Davis and Jno. Cunningham. No firing. Unusually heavy picket at night.
Cyrus Hussey

Our duties were getting more arduous every day, besides being continually under fire, until July 3rd, when Gen. Pemberton sent Gen. Bowen and Col. Montgomery, under a flag of truce, with a proposition for the surrender of Vicksburg. They were taken, with their eyes bandaged, to our brigade headquarters, and had a consultation with Gen. Grant, but he would not consent to anything but an unconditional surrender. Nevertheless, he agreed to hold a conference with Gen. Pemberton, to discuss the matter. Accordingly, they met under a tree, between the two armies, who had now ceased firing and were watching with great interest the movements of the Generals. The last proposition made by Gen. Grant was, that they should be paroled, the officers permitted to retain their sidearms and private property, and to stack their arms outside the fortifications. Gen. Pemberton withdrew to consult with his officers, and Gen. Grant issued an order to the troops "that the armistice should continue in force until 8 A. M., July 4th; then, if the enemy did not accept his terms, hostilities would be resumed."
John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Report of Col. Peter J. Sullivan (present at event)
…we close on him [the enemy] till July 3, when General Pemberton opened negotiations with Major-General Grant, which ended in the surrender of this great stronghold to the United States forces on July 4. This, indeed, was a glorious triumph for liberty and humanity.
Peter J. Sullivan (OR 8/4/63)

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
July 3. - As the sap-roller in front of General Carr still continued to move forward, the enemy endeavored to stop it by blowing us out; but as in the other case, the mine was fired too soon, and no damage whatever was done. Nothing was done but the preparation of the trenches for an assault in front of Generals Smith and Hovey. A flag of truce from the enemy, and cessation of hostilities till 10 p. m., caused all work to stop.
Peter C. Hains

July 4, 1863

Saturday, July 4th
Orders to dress & put on accoutrements at 2.00 A.M. to be ready for any emergency. Rebs surrendered at 8.00 A.M. 27000 Prisoners-250 cannon & 50000 or over stand of small arms &c. &c. Works well arranged but contrary to our expectation the pits had no ditches. But few got to go into the City as we were under orders to go to Black River at 4.00 P.M. McPherson's Corps in the City. Recd two letters from my Wife of 21st and 23rd ult. Quite unwell-ate no supper. We do not march till morning.
Cyrus Hussey

But on the morning of July 4th, before the time expired, they raised the white flag, and Vicksburg, after a campaign of over six months, and a siege of forty-eight days, with its immense fortifications, arms, munitions, and 37,000 prisoners, was ours. The entire rebel loss during the Vicksburg campaign in killed, wounded and prisoners, according to "Badeau," was 56,000.

The following vivid description of Vicksburg during the siege, is from the work, "The Battles for the Union:"

"Every day further progress was made in digging and mining, and at length a point was reached where the batteries could send their screaming shells directly to the heart of the city. A reign of terror took possession of the town, and its inhabitants dug themselves caves in the earth, seeking protection against the missiles of destruction which daily and nightly dropped in their midst. Such cannonading and shelling has perhaps scarcely been equaled. It was not safe from behind or before, and every part of the city was alike within range of the Federal guns. * * *

"Porter's gun-boats, with thirteen-inch mortars and one-hundred-pound Parrott guns, safely anchored under the high bank below Vicksburg, sentineled the river above and below. A three-gun battery, on the peninsula opposite, played havoc with the Confederate garrison, burning up their shot-and-shell foundry. While the enemy's forts were being mined, counter-mines were dug by them, and the sound of their picks could be heard through the thin wall of earth which separated the hostile armies.

"For six weeks our batteries never ceased dropping their shot and shell on the doomed city. Food became scarce, and the inhabitants grew wan and thin in their narrow dens. At last, despairing of Johnston's aid in raising the siege, and believing that Grant was ready for another assault on his works, they hung out the white flag in front of Gen. A. J. Smith's Division."

John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Lieut. Peter C. Hains, U. S. Corps of Engineers, (OR 7/30/63)
July 4. - All operations ceased; Vicksburg surrendered. The map of the front of the Thirteenth Army Corps will show the position of such batteries as are not mentioned in the report, and the work done in the trenches. In front of the Thirteenth Corps, the nearest approach was only about 10 feet from the ditch; the second about 30 feet, and the third about 35.
Peter C. Hains

July 5, 1863

We had scarcely time that day to give vent to our joy at the surrender, before we were ordered to march in pursuit of Gen. Johnston, who was collecting quite an army at Jackson, Miss.

At daybreak on the morning of July 5th, we were on the march, and continued from day to day, under a sweltering July sun, until the 10th, when we reached the fortifications around Jackson. Our Regiment was then deployed as skirmishers, and advanced through the timber and bivouacked for the night. The following day we were ordered to the right, in support of the first brigade, where we remained during the siege, principally engaged in picket duty. On the morning of the 17th, we discovered that Gen. Johnston, after destroying his stores, had evacuated the preceding night. The loss of our Corps (13th) in killed and wounded was 760.
John A. Bering & Thomas Montgomery, 1880

Report of Col. Peter J. Sullivan (present at event)
Early the next morning we marched, among 50,000 chosen troops, under the command of Maj. Gen. W. T. Sherman, in hot pursuit of General Joe Johnson and his forces, and after four days' march, hungry, thirsty, and sunburned, we came up to him at Jackson, Miss., where we found him strongly entrenched, with formidable breastworks. And forts in his front and flanks, and the pearl River and an impassable swamp in his rear.
During the siege, which lasted eight days, we were almost continually on the alert, and gradually and steadily advancing on the enemy until the night of July 16, when, after severe fighting, he stole away and fled from the veteran Sherman and his gallant and well-disciplined troops, who loved him as a child would a fond father. Our casualties were but two men.
Peter J. Sullivan (OR 8/4/63)

Report of Col. Peter J. Sullivan (present at event)
By the circular above alluded to, I am ordered to mention the weak-kneed and chicken-hearted as well as the brave officers and men of the regiment. This regiment, with but a few exceptions, has been celebrated for its good order and discipline, as well as for its dashing and gallant bravery on the field of battle.

The accompanying paper, marked A, contains the names of those gallant officers and men who deserve to be kindly remembered and rewarded by their country. [The OR remarks that the paper is lost.]

Adjt. R. C. McGill, who has since resigned, on account of bad health; Drs. Willis and Wiles, surgeons of the regiment, and Captain Lindsey, deserve special mention for their untiring efforts to preserve the good health of the men, and to enforce good order and discipline on all occasions. Those are tried and true men. Lieutenant Lynch, acting quartermaster, of the regiment, is also entitled to credit for the execution of his duties.

The Health of the regiment, with but a few exceptions, is good. The strength of the regiment is, present and absent, 362 enlisted men and 27 commissioned officers. Of this number there are present for duty 268, enlisted men and 17 commissioned officers.

Should time, health, and circumstances permit, I will make a more extended and minute report of the part which my regiment has taken in this struggle between liberty and anarchy since its action in the Battle of Shiloh up to the fall of Vicksburg and Jackson. My feeble health compels me to abridge this report, yet I trust I have fulfilled all the requirements of the said circular.
Very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Peter J. Sullivan
Colonal Commanding
Peter J. Sullivan (OR 8/4/63)


Grabau, Warren E., 2000. Ninety-Eight Days: A Geographer's View of the
Vicksburg Campaign, Univ of Tennessee Pr.

Kiper, Richard L. 1999 Major General John Alexander McClernand: Politician
in Uniform, Kent State Univ Pr.

McDuffie, P. E. 1998 Civil War Field fortifications III. Siege Works

Bentley, W. H. 1865 History of the 77th Illinois Volunteer Infantry, Edward
Hine, Printer, Peoria, Ill.

Carmen, Isaac H. 1903 A Flag the Rebels Didn't Get. in: On of Deeds of
Valor: How America's Civil War Heroes Won the Medal of Honor. Edited by
W.F. Beyer and O.F. Keydel. 558 pgs. Perrien-Keydel Co. Detroit. Michigan.
1903: Reprint of above by Longmeadow Press. Stamford. CT. 1992 pp. 201-202



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July 5, 1863 - July 28, 1863
Siege of Jackson



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