Battle of Jackson, Mississippi

Last updated
Battle of Jackson
Part of the American Civil War
Battle of Jackson (MS).jpg
DateMay 14, 1863 (1863-05-14)
Location
Result Union victory
Belligerents
Flag of the United States (1861-1863).svg United States (Union) Flag of the Confederate States of America (1863-1865).svg CSA (Confederacy)
Commanders and leaders
Ulysses S. Grant Joseph E. Johnston
John Gregg
Units involved
Army of the Tennessee Jackson Garrison
Casualties and losses
286 850

The Battle of Jackson, fought on May 14, 1863, in Jackson, Mississippi, was part of the Vicksburg Campaign in the American Civil War. Union commander Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and the Army of the Tennessee defeated elements of the Confederate Department of the West, commanded by General Joseph E. Johnston, seizing the city, cutting supply lines, and opening the path to the west and the Siege of Vicksburg.

Jackson, Mississippi Capital of Mississippi

Jackson, officially the City of Jackson, is the capital and most populous city of the U.S. state of Mississippi. It is one of two county seats of Hinds County, along with Raymond, Mississippi. The city of Jackson also includes around 3,000 acres comprising Jackson-Medgar Evers International Airport in Rankin County and a small portion of Madison County. The city's population was estimated to be 165,072 in 2017, a decline from 173,514 in 2010. The city sits on the Pearl River and is located in the greater Jackson Prairie region of Mississippi.

Vicksburg Campaign military campaign during the American Civil War

The Vicksburg Campaign was a series of maneuvers and battles in the Western Theater of the American Civil War directed against Vicksburg, Mississippi, a fortress city that dominated the last Confederate-controlled section of the Mississippi River. The Union Army of the Tennessee under Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant gained control of the river by capturing this stronghold and defeating Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton's forces stationed there.

American Civil War Civil war in the United States from 1861 to 1865

The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States from 1861 to 1865, between the North and the South. The most studied and written about episode in U.S. history, the Civil War began primarily as a result of the long-standing controversy over the enslavement of black people. War broke out in April 1861 when secessionist forces attacked Fort Sumter in South Carolina shortly after Abraham Lincoln had been inaugurated as the President of the United States. The loyalists of the Union in the North proclaimed support for the Constitution. They faced secessionists of the Confederate States in the South, who advocated for states' rights to uphold slavery.

Background

On May 9, Gen. Johnston received a dispatch from the Confederate Secretary of War directing him to "proceed at once to Mississippi and take chief command of the forces in the field." As he arrived in Jackson on May 13, from Middle Tennessee, he learned that two army corps from the Union Army of the Tennesseethe XV, under Maj. Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman, and the XVII, under Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson were advancing on Jackson, intending to cut the city and the railroads off from Vicksburg, Mississippi which was a major port on the Mississippi River. These corps, under the overall command of Grant, had crossed the Mississippi River south of Vicksburg and driven northeast toward Jackson. The railroad connections were to be cut to isolate the Vicksburg garrison. And if the Confederate troops in Jackson were defeated, they would be unable to threaten Grant's flank or rear during his eventual assault on Vicksburg. [1]

Middle Tennessee is a distinct portion of the state of Tennessee, delineated according to state law as the 41 counties in the Middle Grand Division of Tennessee.

XV Corps (Union Army)

The XV Army Corps was a corps of the Union Army during the American Civil War. It served in the Army of the Tennessee under Maj. Gens. Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman. It was commanded by Sherman in the Siege of Vicksburg and then by Maj. Gen. John A. Logan in Sherman's Atlanta Campaign. Brig. Gen. Peter J. Osterhaus commanded the corps in the March to the Sea, but Logan was back in command during Sherman's Carolina Campaign. When General Howard became head of the Freedman's Bureau, Logan became the commander of the Army of the Tennessee for the final march to Washington. William Hazen became the XV Corps final commander.

William Tecumseh Sherman US Army general, businessman, educator, and author

William Tecumseh Sherman was an American soldier, businessman, educator, and author. He served as a general in the Union Army during the American Civil War (1861–65), for which he received recognition for his outstanding command of military strategy as well as criticism for the harshness of the scorched earth policies he implemented in conducting total war against the Confederate States.

Grant's Operations against Vicksburg
Confederate
Union VicksburgCampaignAprilJuly63.png
Grant's Operations against Vicksburg
  Confederate
  Union

Battle

Map of Jackson Battlefield study area by the American Battlefield Protection Program. Jackson Battlefield Mississippi.jpg
Map of Jackson Battlefield study area by the American Battlefield Protection Program.

Johnston consulted with the local commander, Brig. Gen. John Gregg, and learned that only about 6,000 troops were available to defend the town. Johnston ordered the evacuation of Jackson, but Gregg was to defend Jackson until the evacuation was completed. By 10 a.m., both Union army corps were near Jackson and had engaged the enemy. Rain, Confederate resistance, and poor defenses prevented heavy fighting until around 11 a.m., when Union forces attacked in numbers and slowly but surely pushed the enemy back. In mid-afternoon, Johnston informed Gregg that the evacuation was complete and that he should disengage and follow. [1]

Aftermath

Soon after, Union troops entered Jackson and had a celebration in the Bowman House, hosted by Grant, who had been traveling with Sherman's corps. They then burned part of the town and cut the railroad connections with Vicksburg. Johnston's evacuation of Jackson was premature because he could, by late on May 14, have had 11,000 troops at his disposal and by the morning of May 15, another 4,000. The fall of the former Mississippi state capital was a blow to Confederate morale. [1]

General Sherman appointed Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Mower to the position of military governor of Jackson and ordered him to destroy all facilities that could benefit the war effort. With the discovery of a large supply of rum, it was impossible for Mower's Brigade to keep order among the mass of soldiers and camp followers, and many acts of pillage took place. Grant left Jackson on the afternoon of May 15 and proceeded to Clinton, Mississippi. On the morning of May 16 he sent orders for Sherman to move out of Jackson as soon as the destruction was complete. Sherman marched almost immediately, clearing the city by 10 a.m.. By nightfall on May 16, Sherman's corps reached Bolton, Mississippi, and the Confederacy had reoccupied what remained of Jackson. Jackson had been destroyed as a transportation center and the war industries were crushed. But more importantly the Confederate concentration of men and materials aimed at saving Vicksburg were scattered. [1] Sherman would later lead an expedition against Jackson following the fall of Vicksburg to clear Johnston's relief force from the area.

Joseph A. Mower United States Army officer

Joseph Anthony Mower was a Union general during the American Civil War. He was a competent officer and well respected by his troops and fellow officers to whom he was known as "Fighting Joe". Major General William Tecumseh Sherman said of Mower, "he's the boldest young officer we have".

Clinton, Mississippi City in Mississippi, United States

Clinton is a city in Hinds County, Mississippi, United States. Situated in the Jackson metropolitan area, it is the tenth largest city in Mississippi. The population was 25,216 at the 2010 United States Census.

Bolton, Mississippi Town in Mississippi, United States

Bolton is a town in Hinds County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 567 at the 2010 census, down from 629 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area.

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 4 NPS

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References

Coordinates: 32°19′26″N90°14′10″W / 32.324°N 90.236°W / 32.324; -90.236