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Port Gibson

May 1, 1863

Claiborne County, Mississippi

After crossing to the eastern bank of the Mississippi River at Bruinsburg on April 30, 1863, a powerful Union force immediately began to press north towards Vicksburg. Port Gibson, roughly ten miles east of Bruinsburg and commanding the best approach route to the Confederate river fortress, was the first Federal objective. Fierce night fighting erupted early on May 1 as the Union soldiers encountered their foes in the craggy, overgrown tangle around Port Gibson shortly after midnight. After a brief lull, the battle roared to life once more at dawn. Confederate general Edward Tracy was killed while directing the right flank of the defense. The battle continued for most of the day as successive Confederate lines buckled under the weight of the Union advance. A counterattack was bloodily repulsed in the late afternoon and the Southerners were forced from the field. The Battle of Port Gibson firmly secured a Union beachhead east of the Mississippi River.
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"Starve Them to Death"

Bob Zeller traces the long, grueling campaign to capture Vicksburg and describes how it cemented Grant's stature as the North’s greatest general.

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Grant's Supply Feature

Grant's Vicksburg Supply Line: Fact or Myth

J. Parker Hills investigates the complex logistics of the Grant's campaign to seize Vicksburg

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434 Acres at Risk

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This battlefield was identified in our annual report History Under Siege™ in 2009 »


Images of the first land battlefield of the Vicksburg Campaign

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Recommended Reading

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"Vicksburg is the Key: The Struggle for the Mississippi River"
by William L. Shea, Terrence J. Winschel

This fast-paced, gripping narrative of the Civil War struggle for the Mississippi River is the first comprehensive single-volume account to appear in over a century.

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"Triumph and Defeat: The Vicksburg Campaign"
by Terrence Winschel

Terry Winschel weaves a lifetime of professional experience into this remarkable study.

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