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Friday, July 5, 2013

Civil War Photo Friday: First at Vicksburg

Titled "First at Vicksburg", this painting at the US Army Center of Military History shows the Confederate lines at Vicksbur along the Mississippi River during the Union assault on 19 May 1863. The Union 1st Battalion, 13th Infantry, lost forty-three percent of its men, but was the sole regiment to get its regimental colors up to the top of the steep defences.

General Sherman called its performance "unequalled in the Army" and authorized the 13th Infantry to inscribe "First at Vicksburg" on its colors. Despite this heroism, the assault failed and a long siege lasted until July 4, when the rebel garrison finally capitulated. Soon all of the Mississippi River was in Union hands and the Confederacy was cut in half. From this point on, the war in the Trans-Mississippi; Missouri, Arkansas, the Indian territory, etc., would be in effect a separate conflict.

Photo courtesy U.S. Army.

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