Grant Disposes of Johnston: Part 4 of Our Signature Vicksburg Campaign Study
September 18-22, 2018
A BGES Civil War Field University Program
With Parker Hills from Vicksburg, MS
The battle at Port Gibson sent shock waves through the Confederacy. Even as Lee was turning to meet Joseph Hooker's turning movement in the Wilderness of Virginia telegraphic messages from the governor of Mississippi sought relief from the impending blue juggernaut. Things would not get any better for the Confederates.
Bamboozled by Grant's deceptive maneuvers, Confederate commanders John C. Pemberton near Vicksburg and Joseph E. Johnston scrambled to respond. Pemberton still held a substantial and strong position with his southern flank anchored on Redbone Ridge. It was widely assumed that Grant would come directly at Vicksburg and that the defenses would prove as daunting as those around Chickasaw Bluffs and Walnut Hills to the north. They had not a clue.
Grant had made a key decision to disregard orders to support General Banks in Louisiana and he had a couple of weeks to make something happen before guidance from Washington clipped his wings. He would make the most of it. This program will follow Grant's planning and actions as he establishes his new supply base at Grand Gulf and fans out on a wide front moving each of his three corps along separate routes. This is the art of command and the odds are not even–Grant against Johnston and Pemberton, a decisive commander facing two dithering and indecisive officers. Pemberton under preemptive orders to hold Vicksburg and Johnston whose Fabian mindset will not let him fight battles nor work with the political leadership to achieve national objectives. Grant will tackle both and eliminate one during this pivotal period in the Vicksburg Campaign.
The complete itinerary is here on our main website: Grant Disposes of Johnston: Part 4 of Our Signature Vicksburg Campaign Study.