Midpoint of the War: May to July 1863

Small Towns in a Big War

How hard was the army’s march southward?

It was not nearly as bad as anticipated. Having spent most of the winter digging ditches in failed attempts to make canals, the men were eager for movement, and there was almost no Confederate opposition as they moved south. The men, too, had developed a great trust in their commander: as long as Grant was in charge, things would be well, they often said.

The rendezvous with Admiral Porter’s flotilla took place in the last week of April. It was a heady moment as Grant and Porter got together, seeing the realization of so many of their plans. They both knew that a formidable hurdle still remained, however: they had to get Grant’s men to the other side of the big river. The Confederates fully understood the danger, and Port Gibson, one of the most natural places to make a crossing, was strongly fortified. Even so, Grant and Porter decided to make the attempt.


This is a web preview of the "The Handy Civil War Book" app. Many features only work on your mobile device. If you like what you see, we hope you will consider buying. Get the App