JULY 2018

JULY 2018
One Hundred Years Later, Same Message. 1916 - 2017


Monday, April 28, 2008

FRIDAY, MAY 1, 1863

In Northern Virginia Union General Joseph Hooker crosses the Rapidan River and is brought to battle by Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia. But after splitting the Rebels between the town of Fredericksburg and the tiny crossroads of Chancellorsville Clearing Hooker halts his advance, hoping Lee will take the opportunity to throw themselves at the dug in Union troops.
Col. Benjamin Grierson’s men are just West of Magnolia, Mississippi when they stumble into Rebel Cavalry under Major James De Baun. After a brief skirmish both sides withdraw.

As dawn breaks over the Mississippi River valley the largest amphibious operation in American history prior to the Normandy Invasion on June 6, 1944 begins as the 24th and 46th Indiana regiments of McClerand’s 13th Corp rush ashore at Bruinsburg. By evening 17,000 men have occupied the bluffs above the River and begun to push down the road Southward, leading to Port Gibson the vital bridge crosses over the Bayou Pierre before turning North for Grand Gulf and Vicksburg beyond. The heavily wooded country is divided by steep drainages (100’ nigh), with the few roads running along the crests of ridgelines. It is a strong position for a defense but General Bowen has barely a fraction of the troops he needs. If Grant gives him the time, reinforcements can be sent down from Vicksburg, but Grant has no intention of giving Bowen any time at all.

Grant pushes McPherson Corp as quickly as they can be issued ammo and rations to join McClernand’s corps already in engaged with the Rebels on the road to Port Gibson. At about 1AM on May First the Union forces hit the Rebels. General Bowen knows this is the best place to stop the Union forces, and he insists that his men refuse to give ground. At one point Col. Cockrell even leads a fierce counter attack that sets McClerand’s men back on their heels. But on the opposite flank McPherson’s men outflank the Confederates and force Bowen to order a retreat. He burns the Bayou Pierre Bridge before abandoning Port Gibson. Union losses are 131 dead and 719 wounded, with 25 missing. Confederate losses are unknown.

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