The Battle of Chattanooga

On November 22, 2013, in Artifacts, by Amanda
0

The Mississippi Civil War Sesquicentennial continues and in the coming months we will be highlighting Museum Division collections related to 1863 and the Civil War. Special thanks to Nan Prince, assistant director of collections, for writing this series.

November 23–25, 1863: The Battle of Chattanooga

Flag of the 10th Regiment, Mississippi Infantry. Accession number: 1968.46.1 (Museum Division collection)

Flag of the 10th Regiment, Mississippi Infantry. Accession number: 1968.46.1 (Museum Division collection)

In the fall of 1863, Union and Confederate armies engaged in several clashes in northern Georgia and southern Tennessee that were fought to determine control of the strategic rail center of Chattanooga, Tennessee. After the defeat of the Union army at the Battle of Chickamauga, General Ulysses S. Grant deployed troops that had been stationed in Mississippi to the area. On November 23 and 24, Union troops pushed Braxton Bragg’s Army of Tennessee troops out of their defensive positions at Orchard Knob and Lookout Mountain. The battle ended on November 25 after troops under General George H. Thomas scaled the heights of Missionary Ridge in one of the greatest charges of the war, breaking the Confederate line. The battle for Chattanooga was over, and Union forces controlled the town that General Sherman would use as his supply base for his march to Atlanta and the sea the next spring.

Flag of the 41st Regiment, Mississippi Infantry. Accession number: 1962.182.1 (Museum Division collection)

Flag of the 41st Regiment, Mississippi Infantry. Accession number: 1962.182.1 (Museum Division collection)

A number of Mississippi regiments fought in the Chattanooga Campaign, including the 10th and 41st Mississippi Infantries whose flags are pictured here.

This sword belonged to Colonel James A. Campbell of the 27th Mississippi Infantry. He was taken prisoner at the Battle of Lookout Mountain, sent to Johnson’s Island Prisoner of War camp in Ohio, and died there on February 4, 1864.

James A. Campbell's sword. Accession number: 1984.59.1ab (Museum Division collection)

James A. Campbell’s sword. Accession number: 1984.59.1ab (Museum Division collection)

Source: “History and Culture,” Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park, National Park Service, http://www.nps.gov/chch/historyculture/index.htm.

Tagged with:
 

Vicksburg Surrenders

On July 3, 2013, in Artifacts, by Amanda
0

The Mississippi Civil War Sesquicentennial continues and in the coming months we will be highlighting Museum Division collections related to 1863 and the Civil War. Special thanks to Nan Prince, assistant director of collections, for writing this series.

July 4, 1863 – The Vicksburg Campaign: The Surrender of Vicksburg

1st National Confederate flag. Accession number: 2004.3.1 (Museum Division collection)

1st National Confederate flag. Accession number: 2004.3.1 (Museum Division collection)

President Abraham Lincoln called Vicksburg, Mississippi, “the key” to winning the Civil War, and General Ulysses S. Grant launched the Vicksburg Campaign in the spring of 1863. The campaign was a series of battles and maneuvers that led to the eventual siege and surrender of the Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River.

General John Pemberton’s army in Vicksburg was worn down from Grant’s forty-seven day siege. Thousands of his soldiers were suffering from illness, wounds, and malnutrition; and supplies were dangerously low. Realizing that no relief would be coming from General Joseph Johnston and that he could negotiate better terms of surrender on Independence Day, Pemberton surrendered Vicksburg on July 4.

Pictured above is a 1st National Confederate flag taken by Samuel Loring Percival Ayres, second assistant engineer of the USS Pensacola, at Vicksburg on July 4, 1863. The flag was made by H. Cassidy, a prominent flag maker in New Orleans, and is 8 ½ feet long. Cassidy often made Confederate flags from old US flags, and he probably employed that technique with this flag.

Source: “Vicksburg Surrender,” Vicksburg National Military Park, National Park Service, http://www.nps.gov/vick/historyculture/surrender.htm.

Tagged with:
 

Today in History: Battle of Gettysburg

On July 1, 2013, in Artifacts, by Amanda
0

The Mississippi Civil War Sesquicentennial continues and in the coming months we will be highlighting Museum Division collections related to 1863 and the Civil War. Special thanks to Nan Prince, assistant director of collections, for writing this series.

July 1–3, 1863:  The Battle of Gettysburg

Known as the “High Water Mark of the Rebellion,” Gettysburg was the bloodiest battle of the Civil War with 51,000 casualties. The three-day battle fought in and around the small town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, coupled with the surrender of Vicksburg, Mississippi, on July 4, became a turning point in the war. On the second day of the battle, Brig. Gen. William Barksdale led his brigade of Mississippians in an assault at the Peach Orchard. Through fierce fighting, they gained significant ground but were eventually repulsed. Leading the charge, Barksdale was shot and fell from his horse, mortally wounded. Barksdale’s brigade, which included the 13th, 17th, 18th, and 21st Mississippi Infantry regiments, suffered tremendous casualties.

The sword pictured below was reputedly worn by Barksdale when he was killed at Gettysburg.

Sword reputedly worn by William Barksdale at Gettysburg. Accession number: 1960.130.1a (Museum Division collection)

Sword reputedly worn by William Barksdale at Gettysburg. Accession number: 1960.130.1a (Museum Division collection)

The flag below was presented to the Burt Rifles, Company K, 18th Mississippi Infantry regiment by the ladies of Jackson. The 18th Mississippi Infantry was part of Barksdale’s brigade and fought at the Peach Orchard.

Flag of the 18th Regiment, Mississippi Infantry (Burt Rifles). Accession number: 1968.38.1 (Museum Division collection)

Flag of the 18th Regiment, Mississippi Infantry (Burt Rifles). Accession number: 1968.38.1 (Museum Division collection)

Sources:

“A New Birth of Freedom,” Gettysburg National Military Park, National Park Service, http://www.nps.gov/gett/index.htm.

Jim Woodrick, “‘The Grandest Charge Ever Made:’ Barksdale at Gettysburg,” And Speaking of Which (blog), July 2, 2012, http://andspeakingofwhich.blogspot.com/2012/07/grandest-charge-ever-made-barksdale-at.html.

 

Tagged with:
 

Today in History: Siege of Vicksburg

On May 28, 2013, in Artifacts, by Amanda
0

The Mississippi Civil War Sesquicentennial continues and in the coming months we will be highlighting Museum Division collections related to 1863 and the Civil War. Special thanks to Nan Prince, assistant director of collections, for writing this series.

May 26–July 3, 1863 – The Vicksburg Campaign:  The Siege of Vicksburg

Shingle and nails from Pemberton's headquarters. Accession number: 2001.20.1-2 and 2001.30.1 (Museum Division collection)

Shingle and nails from Pemberton’s headquarters. Accession number: 2001.20.1-2 and 2001.30.1 (Museum Division collection)

President Abraham Lincoln called Vicksburg, Mississippi, “the key” to winning the Civil War, and General Ulysses S. Grant launched the Vicksburg Campaign in the spring of 1863. The campaign was a series of battles and maneuvers that led to the eventual siege and surrender of the Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River.

Battle flag of 1st Mississippi Artillery, Co. A (Withers Light Artillery). Accession number: 1968.43.1 (Museum Division collection)

Battle flag of 1st Mississippi Artillery, Co. A (Withers Light Artillery). Accession number: 1968.43.1 (Museum Division collection)

After two failed assaults on Vicksburg, the “Gibraltar of the Confederacy,” on May 19 and May 22, General Grant decided to lay siege to the city. While cutting off all supplies and communications to  Vicksburg, federal troops began constructing thirteen different approaches to the Confederate line. Lt. Gen. John Pemberton set up his headquarters in a home in the city known as “Mrs. Willis’s House.” In this house, Pemberton led his operations and endured the long siege. The nails and shingles pictured above were from the Greek Revival home that served as Pemberton’s headquarters. Also pictured below is the battle flag from the 1st Mississippi Artillery, Company A (Withers Light Artillery), which participated in the defense of Vicksburg.

Tagged with:
 

The Mississippi Civil War Sesquicentennial continues and in the coming months we will be highlighting Museum Division collections related to 1863 and the Civil War. Special thanks to Nan Prince, assistant director of collections, for writing this series.

May 1, 1863 – The Vicksburg Campaign:  The Battle of Port Gibson

Battle flag of 4th Mississippi Infantry. Accession Number: 1968.44.1 (Museum Division Collection)

Battle flag of 4th Mississippi Infantry. Accession Number: 1968.44.1 (Museum Division Collection)

President Abraham Lincoln called Vicksburg, Mississippi, “the key” to winning the Civil War, and General Ulysses S. Grant launched the Vicksburg Campaign in the spring of 1863. The campaign was a series of battles and maneuvers that led to the eventual siege and surrender of the Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River.

Despite many setbacks, Grant’s army crossed the Mississippi River at Bruinsburg on April 30­–May 1, 1863, and began moving toward Vicksburg. The unopposed crossing was the largest amphibious operation in American military history until the D-Day invasion of World War II. A skirmish began soon after midnight on May 1 when the advancing federal army engaged a Confederate outpost at the A. K. Shaifer House near Port Gibson. Grant gathered his forces and advanced on Rodney Road and Bruinsburg Road, and the Battle of Port Gibson began in earnest later that morning. Out-manned nearly three to one, the Confederates could not hold their position during the day of fighting. By the day’s end, the Battle of Port Gibson claimed over 1,600 casualties, and Grant made an important gain in his advance toward Vicksburg.

The image shows the battle flag of the 4th Mississippi Infantry, which participated in several battles of the Vicksburg campaign including the Battle of Port Gibson. This flag was later captured near Brentwood Hills during the Battle of Nashville on December 16, 1864.

The Shaifer House, the site of the first shots of the Battle of Port Gibson, was recently restored. Below is a link to photographs of the dedication ceremony held in 2007.

http://mdah.state.ms.us/arrec/digital_archives/shaifer/

Source: “Vicksburg Campaign and Siege March-July 1863,” Vicksburg National Military Park, National Park Service, http://www.nps.gov/vick/historyculture/vickcamp-siege.htm.

Tagged with: