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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 - 579

On Wednesday,  May 27, 1863 General William Tecumseh Sherman ordered an attack on Fort Hill, a Confederate strong point on the Mississippi River near Vicksburg, utilizing several Union gunboats including the hard luck USS Cincinnati.

Sunk while attacking Fort Pillow in May 1862 but later raised and restored to duty, the stern-wheel, casemate gunboat Cincinnati with logs and bales of hay to protect her crew was promptly sent to the bottom of the Mississippi with her colors still flying from the stump of her mast.

Forty of her crew were killed or wounded, and six crewmen were later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for their heroic actions during the sinking. The high location of the Confederate batteries along the river enabled them to effectively shell the attacking Union gunboats.