Vicksburg surrender, good or bad for the confederates

DixieRifles

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“ . . . Communicate your plans and suggestions, if possible." (Johnston to Pemberton, 29 May 1863
That was another entirely different problem.
Im trying to recall a new research about a coded message that was discovered and thought to be intended for Gen Pemberton. I recall it was sent across the River.
 

1stMS-Arty

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That was another entirely different problem.
Im trying to recall a new research about a coded message that was discovered and thought to be intended for Gen Pemberton. I recall it was sent across the River.
yep this is it I think
https://www.salon.com/2010/12/25/us_message_in_a_bottle/
civil_war_message_opened_decoded_no_help_coming.jpg
 

WScott

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BAD! Vicksburg cost the Confederacy an important city, thousands of troops and opened the door to the Norths control of the Mississippi and the Western theater.
 

Johnny_Grey

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There is a lot written about Johnston’s “relief” Army but how large was it? I never see any details on his command.
I understand he retreated to Jackson after Pemberton surrendered. He then withdrawals once challenged by Sherman. I am curious what happens to this “army of relief” after he leaves Jackson. I think it was an amazing feat that the confederate government scrounged this army together when every theater was desperate for men. I have mixed feelings about Johnston. He seems smart sometimes but other times he seems like a disgruntled employee refusing to perform because he was not put back in command in the East. Did he really even want to help Pemberton? He doesn’t get along with Davis and Pemberton seems to have no friend but Davis.
 

67th Tigers

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The Army of Relief grew to about 30,000 effectives in late June. It had 4 infantry and 1 cavalry division.

When Johnston arrived at Jackson (ca. 16th May) it was defended by Gregg's brigade up from Port Hudson (2,745 PFD by last return) and had taken an utter pounding, pulling out of the town. Another brigade from Port Hudson was with Loring (Buford's, 2,735 and not counted in the last return of Loring's division).

Two more brigades reach the vicinity of Jackson around the day of the Battle of Jackson (14th May) - Gist (2,456) and Walker (2,379) have been sent from the SC coastal defences. This gave Johnston 7,580 (minus losses) to defend Jackson.

After Grant turns west more reinforcements arrive.

Two brigades from Bragg's army have been dispatched. Ector (1,154) is the first arriving on 21st, and Loring's Division (minus Waul's Texans) have also just arrived. On this day Johnston formally forms the 4 loose brigades (Gregg, Walker, Gist and Ector) into a division under Walker, giving him two divisions. The second brigade, McNair's (1,432) arrives around 26th.

Maxey (2,747) was already en route towards Jackson from Port Hudson and was 60 road miles from Jackson when news reached him that Gregg was hard pressed. He aborted and marched further east, linking up with Johnston around 31st May. A third brigade from SC, Evans' (2,051) arrives on the 30th or 31st. The three late arriving brigades (McNair, Maxey and Evans) are formed into a division under MG French.

Breckinridge's Division (brigades of Adams, Helm and Stovall, 6,143) from Bragg's army arrives ca. 1st June, giving Johnston 4 infantry divisions. At a similar time (perhaps a day or two later) Jackson's cavalry division (brigades of Cosby and Whitfield) also arrived.
 
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I understand he retreated to Jackson after Pemberton surrendered.
Well, he really never got close enough to Vicksburg to make a difference (even after he finally started " tip-toeing " toward Vicksburg).

But you are correct. Johnston did run back to Jackson.

However, I will give him credit. During Grant's second Jackson operation, Johnston actually orchestrated a decent defence of Jackson immediately after Vicksburg. The Union was forced to start siege operations for about one week ... before Johnston retreated further East.
https://www.lemuriabooks.com/The-Civil-War-Siege-of-Jackson-Mississippi-p/9781626197299.htm

That was a far cry when he first arrived in Jackson a few months earlier (May 1863).

And you are correct, Johnston appeared to be very disgruntled.
When he arrived in Jackson after the Battle at Raymond ( May 63'), it seems he didn't even get off his train.
He telegraphed Richmond, saying something to the effect:

" I'm too late, I'm moving the troops up to Canton, MS "
https://www.nps.gov/civilwar/search-battles-detail.htm?battleCode=ms008

Yeah, Johnston was loved by his troops ... and he did make some great strategic withdrawals ... but his lack of taking risks in battle
haunts him to this day.

Just my opinion.
 
Last edited:
Joined
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Location
Southwest Mississippi
Did Sherman invest the city or attempt to invest it?
He invested the city for about one week.

Initially, I think he believed that he could take it within a few hours.
But after receiving unexpected stiff resistance, Sherman took a conservative approach and started siege operations.

The Confederates knew they could not hold out, but their tenacity did enable Johnston enough time to move his main army
out of Jackson.

If I remember correctly, supply issues from the Union depots at Vicksburg impeded Sherman's original plans.
I think if Sherman had been properly supplied, he could have easily overwhelmed Johnston within a few hours on the first day.
 
Last edited:

wausaubob

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Denver, CO
He invested the city for about one week.

Initially, I think he believed that he could take it within a few hours.
But after receiving unexpected stiff resistance, Sherman took a conservative approach and started siege operations.

The Confederates knew they could not hold out, but their tenacity did enable Johnston enough time to move his main army
out of Jackson.

If I remember correctly, supply issues from the Union depots at Vicksburg impeded Sherman's original plans.
I think if Sherman had been properly supplied, he could have easily overwhelmed Johnston within a few hours on the first day.
Sherman and Johnston were probably both conservative. The generals were doubting it was time for another big killing, if Vicksburg and Gettysburg were going to produce a rational response among the politicians.
 
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