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00000174-b11b-ddc3-a1fc-bfdbb1a20000The Schreiner University Department of History is honoring the sesquicentennial of the American Civil War with a series of short vignettes focusing on events from 1861 through 1865. The Civil War was the most destructive conflict in American history, but it was also one of our most defining moments as a people and as a nation. Let us know what you think about "This Week in the Civil War." E-mail your comments to Dr. John Huddleston at jhuddles@schreiner.edu.Airs: Weekdays at 5:19 a.m., 8:19 a.m., 4:19 p.m. on KTXI and 4:49 a.m., 9:29 p.m. on KSTX.

This Week in the Civil War - 573

On Tuesday, May 19, 1863 with the envelopment of Confederate held Vicksburg complete, Ulysses Grant ordered the first, direct assault against the city’s substantial defenses.  With William Tecumseh Sherman’s corps to the north or right, James McPherson’s corps in the center, and John McClernand’s corps on the left, thousands of Union troops confronted Vicksburg. 

Hoping that a sudden assault would penetrate the Confederates’ defenses and force the city to capitulate, Grant ordered his forces to attack in the mid-afternoon.  Sherman’s troops assaulted a Confederate stronghold called Stockade Redan but were driven back; McPherson and McClernand’s forces had even less success in attacking the Confederates. 

The attacking Union forces suffered approximately one thousand casualties—enough to give Grant pause to consider the potential human cost of directly assaulting and overrunning Vicksburg’s defenses.