This Day in History

Grant at Vicksburg

May 19, 1863


On May 19, 1863, General Ulysses S. Grant attempted to take the Confederate stronghold at Vicksburg, Mississippi. After making a daring run past Confederate batteries, Union naval forces joined troops several miles down river. Working together, they detained Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston in Jackson, preventing him from assisting General John C. Pemberton at Vicksburg.

A major turning point in the Civil War, Grant's victory returned control of the Mississippi River to the Union and geographically divided the Confederacy. Coming just a day after Northern triumph at Gettysburg, the capture of Vicksburg restored faith in Union victory and dispirited the South.

To me, this is another great story of Southern will. In spite of disappearing food supplies, people survived the seige... and they did it in good humor, too. They never wavered in their mission continuing to fight for the cause for two more years.


Cedar Grove was the home of Alexander Klein. He lived there with his bride, Elizabeth Bartley Klein. During the war, the estate was used as a Union Hospital, one of the main reasons it still stands today. There is a cannonball lodged in the wall of the parlor. :D