Pemberton: The General Who Lost Vicksburg

Lt. General John C. Pemberton

Grant's bold 6-week campaign began in early June and took his army south through Arkansas opposite Vicksburg, crossed the river 30 miles below the city, captured the Mississippi capital of Jackson, turned west and pushed Pemberton's army into Vicksburg itself. By mid-May, Pemberton's men had constructed a series of trenches, forts, redans, and artillery lunettes in a 7-mile ring surrounding the city. Grant's army surrounded Pemberton and outnumbered him two to one.

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Wasting no time, Grant launched two major assaults on May 19th and 22nd and was repulsed with heavy casualties. On May 25th, Grant decided to besiege the city. With no reinforcements coming, food and supplies nearly gone, and after holding out for more than forty days, Pemberton finally surrendered on July 4th. Grant's Vicksburg campaign was one of the most brilliant of the war.

Siege of Vicksburg

Grant's victory boosted his reputation, leading ultimately to his appointment as General-in-Chief of the Union armies. Find details and answers to your questions about the new umbrella brand of the Civil War Trust and Revolutionary War Trust.

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Skip to main content. Grant's Operations Against Vicksburg. May 18 — July 4, Vicksburg Campaign of Pemberton was appointed a brevet major [3] for his performance at Molino del Rey on September 8.

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He then was part of the storming of Chapultepec Castle on September 13, and the Battle for Mexico City that day and the next, [2] where Pemberton was wounded. Worth from August 4, , to May 1, and was a fellow staff lieutenant in the same division as his future opponent in the Civil War, Ulysses S.

Alerts In Effect

After holding out for more than forty days, with their reinforcement and supplies nearly gone, the garrison finally surrendered on July 4. That Pemberton was not informed that Johnston was en route to Mississippi simply boggles the mind, but is entirely consistent with how this campaign progressed. In May , McClernand was restored to a command in remote Texas. Ballard focuses upon Pemberton's theory of command in South Carolina, where his foremost conviction was the preservation of his army. Pemberton's plans, however, as he developed them from May 1 to May 13, were sound. Grant 's Union Army of the Tennessee brought five corps to the siege:. Vicksburg is the Key:

Army officers who served in Mexico City during the military occupation following the war. He then fought in Florida during hostilities against the Seminoles in and He and the 4th Artillery fought again in Florida during further hostilities against the Seminoles from to Pemberton and the 4th were then on frontier duty at Fort Leavenworth , Kansas , from to , and participated in the Utah War in Later he was briefly on garrison duty at the Washington Arsenal in Washington, D.

At the start of the American Civil War in , Pemberton chose to resign his commission in the Union and join the Confederate cause , despite his Northern birth and the fact that his two younger brothers both fought for the Union. He resigned his commission, effective April 29, despite pleas from his family and his former commander Winfield Scott. He was promoted to colonel on May 8.

William Wing Loring (1818-1886)

His first brigade command was in the Department of Norfolk , leading its 10th Brigade from June to November. Pemberton was promoted to major general on January 14, , and given command the Confederate Department of South Carolina and Georgia , an assignment lasting from March 14 to August 29, [1] with his headquarters in Charleston.

As a result of Pemberton's abrasive personality, his public statement that if he had to make the choice he would abandon the area rather than risk the loss of his outnumbered army, [7] and the distrust of his Northern birth, the governors of both states in his Department petitioned Confederate President Jefferson Davis for his removal.

Battle Facts

Because he surrendered Vicksburg to General Grant, many Confederates Because he lost this strategic southern port on the Mississippi, Pemberton was. Pemberton: The General Who Lost Vicksburg [Michael B. Ballard] on Amazon. com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. It was the sad fate of General John C.

Davis needed a commander for a new department in Mississippi and also a command for Gen. Beauregard , so he sent Pemberton west and assigned the more popular Beauregard to Charleston. On October 10, , Pemberton was promoted to the rank of lieutenant general , [1] and assigned to defend the fortress city of Vicksburg, Mississippi , and the Mississippi River , known as the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana. Davis gave him the following instructions regarding his new assignment: His forces consisted of fewer than 50, men under the command of Maj.

Winters described the men under Pemberton as "a beaten and demoralized army, fresh from the defeat at Corinth , Mississippi. Grant and over 70, Union soldiers in the Vicksburg Campaign. In an attempt to carry out his orders from both Davis and Gen. Johnston , Pemberton and his Army of Mississippi set out east to combine with Johnston's forces gathering around Jackson, while remaining in contact and covering Vicksburg.

Another order from Johnston changing their proposed meeting location caused Pemberton to turn around, and when he did he accidentally collided with Grant's army at the Battle of Champion Hill on May 16 and suffered a major defeat. Pemberton retreated to the Big Black River , where he fought and suffered even more heavy losses on May In the process, he gave up the high ground on Hayne's Buff which Sherman had failed to take in December.

Confederate Command Failure at Vicksburg

Johnston had advised him that if this ground should ever fall, Vicksburg would be untenable, and that he should escape with his army of 31,, sacrificing the city. Pemberton refused to take this advice. Pemberton, well aware of his reputation as a Northerner by birth, was probably influenced by his fear of public condemnation as a traitor if he abandoned Vicksburg.

On the evening of July 2, , Pemberton asked in writing his four division commanders if they believed their men could "make the marches and undergo the fatigues necessary to accomplish a successful evacuation" after 45 days of siege. With four votes of no, the next day Pemberton asked the Federals for an armistice to allow time for the discussion of terms of surrender, and at The written terms which in the first talks were simply unconditional surrender were negotiated so that the Confederate soldiers would be paroled and: The rank and file will be allowed all their clothing, but no other property.

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Pemberton surrendered 2, officers and 27, men, cannon, and almost 60, muskets and rifles to Grant. After his surrender, Pemberton was exchanged as a prisoner on October 13, , and he returned to Richmond. There he spent some eight months without an assignment. Braxton Bragg thought he could use Pemberton, but after conferring with his own ranking officers he advised Davis that taking on the discredited lieutenant general "would not be advisable.