Midpoint of the War: May to July 1863

Small Towns in a Big War

Was anyone against the attempt?

Most of Grant’s staff voted against it. General Sherman thought it was too ambitious an endeavor, especially because there was only one road on the western side of the river. Grant overruled them all and put them to work, however.

The toughest task, at least at first, was that of Admiral Porter. His men stuffed bales of cotton as well as other soft materials all along the sides of their vessels, preparing for the frightening and dangerous night run past Vicksburg. As luck would have it, the Confederates planned a ball for the evening of April 16, 1863. Most of the Confederate officers were taking their turns on the dance floor when a messenger burst in the door, exclaiming that the Yankee ships were close.


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