Biographies of Whiteside County, IL 1885
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Biographies Whiteside Co 1885 > William R. Brightman

9 Oct 2005

Source: Portrait & Biographical Album of Whiteside County, Illinois
Originally published 1885
Chapman Bros., Chicago, IL

Transcribed by Denise McLoughlin
Tampico Area Historical Society

Page 795

WILLIAM R. BRIGHTMAN, a farmer on section 25, Garden Plain Township, was born Jan. 5, 1819, in Adams Co., Ohio. He is the only son of Abner and Nancy (Clark) Brightman, and his parents removed in his infancy to Lewis Co., Ky., where they brought up their family on a farm. He formed a matrimonial alliance in 1842, with Elizabeth Royster, who was a native of Lewis County. During the summer of the same year Mr. Brightman worked on a farm, and passed the remaining months in rafting lumber. Sept. 13, 1852, he set out with his family, including his wife and five children, and accompanied by his mother and step-father, for Illinois. A wagon drawn by a span of horses conveyed the party to Garden Plain. They traveled in the manner common in the earlier days, camping and cooking on the way. On the 8th day of October they arrived in the township of Garden Plain. For a few years Mr. Brightman rented land, on which he operated successfully as a farmer. In 1864 he bought a tract of unimproved land on section 25 of the same township, which he had entered in 1855. His first purchase included 40 acres, and his now the owner of 90 acres in an improved condition and 27 acres in timeer. The place now is supplied with a good set of frame buildings, and has also a valuable orchard.

Mr. and Mrs. Brightman have eight surviving children, namely: Nancy A. is the wife of Nicholas McGrath, a prosperous farmer of Albany Township; William L., James R., Rufus, Sarah E., Charles E., Alexander and Joseph C. are the names of the younger children; John Henry was born in Kentucky, Feb. 22, 1843. He served as a soldier in Co. F., 93rd Ill., Inf. and was killed in action, May 22, 1863, at the siege of Vicksburg.

End of Bio

Additional Military information on John Henry Brightman:

Database: American Civil War Regiments

Name: John H Brightman
Residence: Garden Plain, Illinois
Enlistment Date: 09 August 1862
Side Served: Union
State Served: Illinois
Service Record: Enlisted as a Private on 09 August 1862
Enlisted in Company F, 93rd Infantry Regiment Illinois on 13 October 1862.
Killed Company F, 93rd Infantry Regiment Illinois on 22 May 1863 in Vicksburg, MS

Regiment: 93rd Infantry Regiment IL
Date Mustered: 23 June 1865
Regiment Type: Infantry
Enlisted Died of Disease or Accident: 4
Officers Died of Disease or Accident: 147
Enlisted Killed or Mortally Wounded: 1
Regimental Soldiers and History: List of Soldiers


Vicksburg, Miss., Siege of, May 18 to July 4, 1863. Army of the Tennessee and the Mississippi Flotilla. By the reduction of New Madrid, the surrender of Island No. 10, the evacuation of Forts Pillow and Randolph, and the destruction of the Confederate fleet in front of Memphis the Mississippi river was opened to Vicksburg, which place presented a more formidable opposition than any of the points that had been overcome. The first campaign against Vicksburg was planned in the fall of 1862. Sherman was to move down the Mississippi from Memphis with the right wing of the Army of the Tennessee, while Grant, with the left wing, was to attack from the east. Grant established a depot of supplies at Holly Springs, but his stores there were surrendered to the enemy by Col. Murphy on Dec. 20, and about the same time Forrest made a raid through northern Mississippi, cutting Grant's communications with the north. These unfortunate events prevented Grant from carrying out his part of the program, as he was compelled to fall back and open up communication with Memphis. Sherman, unadvised of what had happened to the left wing, went ahead and fought the battle of Chickasaw bluffs, which ended disastrously for the Federal arms. Thus the combined attack, partly by water and party by land, against the Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi, ended in a complete failure.

Vicksburg is situated on the east bank of the Mississippi, upon a range of bluffs about 200 feet high. On the western side of the river is a low bottom and directly opposite is a long, narrow peninsula, formed by an abrupt bend of the river a short distance above the city. On this peninsula, at the time of the operations against Vicksburg, stood the little town of De Soto, the terminus of the Shreveport & Vicksburg railroad. At the bend referred to the bluffs trend away from the river into a range called Walnut hills, leaving a lowland through which flow the Yazoo river and numerous bayous. Near Warrenton, some 7 or 8 miles below Vicksburg, the bluffs again recede from the river, making the natural location one well suited for defense. Protected on three sides by the river and its low bottoms, it required only a line of intrenchments from the Warrenton ridge on the south to the Walnut hills on the north, to guard against an attack from the eastward, to render the position almost impregnable to assault. Added to these advantages was the fact that the plateau formed by the bluffs was full of deep ravines, which made it impossible to maneuver troops there with any degree of success. After the failure of the first campaign Grant moved his army to Memphis, and thence down the river to Young's point, 9 miles above Vicksburg on the Louisiana side of the river, where he arrived and assumed command on Feb. 2, 1863. The army in the Vicksburg campaign consisted of the 9th, 13th, 15th, 16th and 17th army corps, respectively commanded by Maj.- Gens. John G. Parke, John A McClernand, William T. Sherman, Cadwallader C. Washburn and James B. McPherson, and two brigades from the District of Northeast Louisiana under the command of Brig.-Gen. Elias S. Dennis. During the operations Gen. McClernand was superseded in the command of the 13th corps by Maj.-Gen. E. O. C. Ord. The 9th corps was composed of the 1st and 2nd divisions, commanded by Brig-Gens. Thomas Welsh and Robert B. Potter. In the 13th corps the 9th division was commanded by Brig-Gen. Peter J. Osterhaus, the 10th by Brig-Gen. Andrew J. Smith, the 12th by Brig-Gen. Alvin P. Hovey, and the 14th by Brig.-Gen. Eugene A. Carr. The 15th corps was composed of the 1st, 2nd and 3rd divisions, commanded by Brig.-Gens. Frederick Steele, Frank P. Blair and James M. Tuttle. The 16th corps included the 1st, 4th and provisional divisions, commanded by Brig-Gens. William Sooy Smith, Jacob Lauman and Nathan Kimball. From May 13 to 20, Lauman's division was temporarily attached to the 15th corps. The 17th corps contained four divisions, the 3rd, 6th and 7th, and one commanded by Brig.-Gen. Francis J. Herron. The 3rd division was commanded by Brig.-Gen. John A. Logan, the 6th by Brig-Gen. John McArthur, and the 7th by Brig-Gens. Isaac F. Quinby, Marcellus M. Crocker and John E. Smith, successively. At the beginning of the campaign the Union army numbered about 43,000 men, but it was increased by reinforcements until at the close of operations Grant had 75,000 men about the city and its environs.

A valuable adjunct to the army in the reduction of Vicksburg was the Mississippi Flotilla, under the command of Rear-Adm. David D. Porter. It was composed of the flag-ship Benton; the gunboat Essex; the ironclads DeKalb (former the St. Louis), Cairo, Carondelet, Cincinnati, Louisville, Mound City, Pittsburg, Choctaw, Lafayette, Chillicothe, Indianola and Tuscumbia; the Rodgers gunboats Conestoga, Lexington and Tyler; the Ellet rams Fulton, Horner, Lancaster, Lioness, Mingo, Monarch, Queen of the West, Sampson and Switzerland, the tinclads Brilliant, Cricket, Forest Rose, Glide, Juliet, Linden, Marmora, Petrel, Rattler, Romeo and Signal; the mortar boats Abraham, Clara Dolsen, Gen. Lyon, Grampus, Great Western, Judge Torrence, New National and Red Rover, and the despatch boat William H. Brown. On March 14-15, the following vessels, belonging to the West Gulf Squadron and commanded by Rear-Adm. David G. Farragut, passed the batteries at Port Hudson and assisted in the siege of Vicksburg: Hartford (flagship), Mississippi, Monongahela, Richmond, Genesee, Kineo, Albatross, Estrella and Arizona. In addition to these vessels various gunboats participated in some of the operations, viz.: Alexandria, Argosy, Black Hawk, Champion, Covington, Curlew, Hastings, Exchange, Key West, Kenwood, Moose, New Era, Naumkeag, Pawpaw, Peosta, Prairie Bird, Queen City, Reindeer, St Clair, Silver Cloud, Silver Lake, Springfield, Tawah and Victory. Opposed to this force was the Confederate army under the command of Lieut.-Gen. John C. Pemberton, consisting of the divisions of Maj.-Gens. W. W. Loring, Carter L. Stevenson, John H. Forney, Martin L. Smith and John S. Bowen, the river batteries, commanded by Col. Edward Higgins, and some unattached troops. The strength of the Confederate forces at Vicksburg has been variously estimated at from 40,000 to 60,000 men, the latter figure being Grant's estimate. Pemberton, in his report, says that when he moved within the defenses of Vicksburg his available force aggregated about 28,000 men, but as over 31,000 were surrendered as prisoners of war after a siege of nearly two months, it is evident that his statement of his force is too low.

The battle of Chickasaw bluffs had demonstrated the strength of the Confederate works on the north side of the city, and Grant decided to gain a foothold below and attack from the south. To do this it was necessary to transport the army and its supplies to some point down the river. The Queen of the West ran past the batteries in front of Vicksburg on the night of Feb. 2, and the Indianola on the night of the 13th. Although these single vessels had passed safely, it was regarded as too hazardous an undertaking to attempt the passage with a large number of transports loaded with men and supplies, and a channel for the boats was sought elsewhere. Three routes presented themselves for consideration. One was the canal that had been excavated by Gen. Williams across the southern part of the peninsula opposite the city, in June, 1862; the second was to connect Lake Providence near the Arkansas line, with the Mississippi by a canal about a mile long and send the fleet through Louisiana via the Tensas, Black and Red rivers to a point on the Mississippi below Natchez, the third was the Yazoo pass route on the eastern side of the river. Work was commenced on the Williams canal early in February, its course being changed to insure a better current, and its construction was pushed vigorously. Rainy weather set in and continued until March 7, just as the canal was about completed when the levee gave way, inundating the canal and the camps west of it, and forcing the abandonment of the enterprise. Attention was then turned to the Lake Providence route, which had been examined by engineers and pronounced practicable, and by March 16, a canal was completed connecting the lake with the river, but before it was turned to any account Grant determined to try the route via the Yazoo pass, the Coldwater and Tallahatchie rivers, in the hope of gaining the high ground on the Yazoo above Haynes, bluff. Yazoo pass was a bayou, connecting the Mississippi, through Moon lake, with the Coldwater river, nearly opposite Helena, Ark. In early times it had been used for the passage of boats from Memphis to Yazoo City, but some years before the beginning of the war it had been closed by a strong levee to reclaim a large tract of land subject to overflow. This route had been under consideration from the first. On Feb. 3, the levee was blown up by a mine and four days later a gunboat entered the pass.

The Confederate spies and pickets had kept Pemberton well informed regarding every movement Grant made, and when it was learned that the Federals were preparing to advance by the Yazoo, steps were taken to offset the movement. Yazoo pass, as well as the Coldwater river, ran through a forest. The Confederates felled a large number of trees into the water, thus impeding the progress of the vessel and causing a tedious delay in removing the obstructions, the Coldwater not being reached until the 21st, when the 13th division of McClernand's corps, Brig.-Gen. Leonard F. Ross commanding, was ordered to pass through to test the availability of the route for a larger body of troops. Ross was delayed in procuring boats and did not reach the Coldwater until March 2. On the 5th Grant ordered McPherson to move his whole corps, about 30,000 men, down to Yazoo City and there effect a lodgment, while two divisions of cavalry were to move to the eastward and cut the enemy's communications. Pemberton in the meantime had sent Loring, with about 2,000 men and 8 heavy guns to the mouth of the Yallabusha to dispute the passage of the Yazoo. About 5 miles below the mouth of the Yallabusha where the waters of the Yazoo and Tallahatchie are brought within a short distance of each other by a sharp bend, Loring constructed a line of works, to which he gave the name of Fort Pemberton. The delay encountered by the Federals in clearing the streams above gave Loring plenty of time to get the fort in a good state of defense, and when the gunboats and transports with Ross' division arrived before the fort on March 11, they found the Confederates prepared to give battle. As the ground in front of the fort was under water a charge on the works was out of the question, and the only thing that could be done was for the gunboats to try to silence the enemy's guns. On the 12th a land battery was established about 800 yards from the fort and the next day the bombardment was continued, but without any perceptible injury to the fort. Ross moved back up the Tallahatchie until he met Quinby's division. Quinby, being the senior officer, assumed command and ordered the whole expedition back to Fort Pemberton, where, after a short bombardment on the 23rd, he determined to send to Helena for a pontoon bridge, by means of which he could cross the Yallabusha, gain the rear of the fort, and by cutting off communications compel its surrender, but before the movement could be executed a despatch was received from Grant, ordering the entire force to return to the Mississippi.

While Ross was working his way down the Tallahatchie Grant was informed that Loring was being reinforced from Vicksburg and, fearing that Ross might be surrounded and captured, planned an expedition to relieve him and at the same time reach the Yazoo above Haynes' bluff. The route selected was up the Yazoo to Steele's bayou; thence up that bayou for about 40 miles to Black bayou; through that to Deer creek; up Deer creek for about 30 miles, then through a cross stream known as Rolling Fork to the Sunflower river, and down that stream to the Yazoo. Porter, with the Pittsburg, Louisville, Mound City, Cincinnati and Carondelet, four mortar boats and two tugs, accompanied by Sherman, with one division of his corps, started up the Yazoo on March 16, preceded by the 8th Mo. to remove trees, etc., from the streams. On the evening of the 18th, Porter was within a few miles of Rolling Fork and it began to look as if this expedition was to be successful. But the enemy had learned of the movement and sent a brigade of infantry, with several pieces of artillery, up the Sunflower to head it off. A battery was planted at the mouth of the Rolling Fork and an attempt made to get in the rear of Porter, with a view to cutting off his retreat and capturing his gunboats. Porter sent word to Sherman, who hurried forward his troops and on the 21st he had a sharp skirmish with the Confederates, driving them back and extricating Porter from his predicament. The expedition now turned back and on the 27th reached the Mississippi adding another failure to the efforts to gain a position on Pemberton's flank.

Two months had now been spent in futile efforts to find a way by which the army could be transferred to a point below or in the rear of Vicksburg. Although somewhat disappointed, Grant was not altogether discouraged. The situation was carefully canvassed and but three plans presented themselves as being at all feasible: 1st, a direct assault on the enemy's works; 2nd, to return to Memphis and reopen a campaign in the rear of Vicksburg; or 3rd, to find a way through the bayous and swamps on the western side of the Mississippi, cross that river and move against the city from the south in accordance with the original scheme. The idea of a direct assault was rejected as too hazardous, defeat being almost certain. Sherman urged the adoption of the second method as the one most practicable, but the press and the public at the north were clamoring for aggressive action, Grant was being daily characterized as failure, and many were urging the president to relieve him of the command of the army. To return to Memphis would look like a retreat. Probably for this reason, more than any other, Grant resolved to try the third plan. It was full of risk, failure meant the destruction of his army, but if it succeeded at all the success would be overwhelming. A route was reconnoitered from Milliken's bend and Young's point via Richmond, La., to New Carthage, about 30 miles below Vicksburg. It was found that, by excavating a canal about 2 miles long a short distance below Duckport, the Mississippi could be connected with Walnut bayou, thence by the sinuous course of that stream and Roundaway bayou a passage could be opened for light draft boats, by means of which the troops and supplies could be conveyed to New Carthage, but the gunboats and heavy transports would have to run the gauntlet of the Vicksburg batteries. The canal was opened and one steamboat and several barges passed through the channel, when the river began to fall rapidly, rendering the route useless. It was no longer needed, however, for with the receding of the waters it became possible to march an army across the country. Even while the canal was under construction Osterhaus' division moved over the route, occupying Richmond on March 31, after a short skirmish, and arriving at New Carthage on April 6.

On the night of April 16, the fleet ran past the batteries at Vicksburg. Porter, with the flag-ship Benton, was in the lead. Then followed, in the order named, the Lafayette, Louisville, Mound City, Pittsburg and Carondelet. Next came three transports, the Forest Queen, Silver Wave and Henry Clay, barricaded with cotton bales, while the gunboat Tuscumbia brought up the rear. Leaving the mouth of the Yazoo at 10 o'clock, the vessels dropped slowly down the river and about an hour later came within range of the Confederate guns, which immediately opened a vigorous fire. As the gunboats went by each one delivered a broadside on the town. The aim of the Confederate gunners was fairly accurate as every vessel was struck a number of times, but the only one seriously damaged was the Henry Clay, on which the cotton was fired by a bursting shell, and the crew becoming panic-stricken escaped to the other vessels or the shore, allowing her to burn to the water's edge. The batteries at Warrenton were passed without difficulty and at 2 a m. on the 17th, the fleet landed at New Carthage. On that day Grant started Grierson on a cavalry raid from La Grange, Tenn., to Baton Rouge, La., as a diversion, and to prevent reinforcements from being sent to Pemberton. On the night of the 22nd the transports Tigress, Anglo-Saxon, Cheeseman, Empire City, Horizon and Moderator, loaded with army supplies, ran the batteries. Five of them were more or less damaged. The Tigress received a shot in her hull below the water line, but she was run to the Louisiana shore, where she sank soon after passing beyond the range of the guns.

Grant's objective point was Grand Gulf, a small village on the east side of the river on the first bluff south of Vicksburg, and about 50 miles from that city. The enemy had fortified the bluff by a strong line of earthworks, in two sets of batteries, one above and another below the landing, the two being connected by a covered trench. On April 24, Grant and Porter made a reconnaissance of the batteries and decided them too strong to attack from the position then occupied some 20 miles up the river. Accordingly the line was extended to Hard Times landing, about 3 miles above Grand Gulf, and on the 29th, everything was in readiness for the assault. At 7 a.m. Porter left Hard Times with his fleet, and proceeded down the river followed by three divisions of McClernand's corps in transports, with instructions to land and carry the works by assault as soon as the enemy's guns were silenced. The bombardment began at 8 a m. and continued without cessation until 1 p.m., when the Confederates ceased firing. In the action Porter lost 19 killed and 56 wounded. Every one of his vessels had suffered to some extent, the Tuscumbia having been struck 81 times, a number of the shells penetrating her armor and bursting on the inside, damaging her so much that for some time she was unfit for service. The enemy lost 3 killed and 15 wounded. Although the batteries were silenced Grant regarded it as a feint and refused to land his infantry. McClernand moved his men back to Hard Times, where they were disembarked and marched across the bend to a point about 3 miles below Grand Gulf, but on the opposite side of the river. That night Porter renewed the attack on the batteries and while it was in progress the transports managed to get by without being seriously injured. At daylight the next morning McClernand commenced ferrying his troops across the Mississippi, and by noon his entire corps, numbering 18,000 men, was on Mississippi soil at Bruinsburg, about 8 miles below Grand Gulf. McPherson's corps soon followed, three days, rations were issued to the men, and at 4 o'clock, that afternoon the advance was begun on Port Gibson, where the enemy was met and overcome the next day. Grierson's raid had kept Pemberton from sending reinforcements to Grand Gulf, and on the night of May 2, the garrison evacuated that place, retiring toward Vicksburg. Porter took possession on the morning of the 3rd and later in the day Grant rode over from Bruinsburg to make preparations for the establishment of his base.

At the beginning of the campaign the purpose was to have Maj.-Gen. N. P. Banks, commanding the Department of the Gulf, cooperate with Grant in the capture of Port Hudson, after which their combined forces would move against Vicksburg. While Grant was at Grand Gulf on the 3rd he received word from Banks, who was then on the Red river announcing that he would be unable to reach Port Hudson until about the middle of May, and then with a much smaller force than originally intended. This news changed the whole current of Grant's plans. He was in the heart of the enemy's country, and to wait for Banks would only give Pemberton an opportunity to strengthen his position at Vicksburg, making the problem all the harder to solve. It was known that reinforcements were moving to Pemberton's support, and Grant determined by prompt and energetic action to strike the Confederate forces in detail before they could be concentrated at Vicksburg. While the main body of the army was moving toward Grand Gulf Sherman had been left to make a demonstration against Haynes' bluff. On May 1, he received orders to cease his operations there and push his whole corps toward Hard Times. When Grant received the communication from Banks he immediately sent orders to Sherman to organize a train of 120 wagons and bring them to Grand Gulf, where they were to be loaded with rations from the Transports. This supply, with the rations already issued to McClernand's and McPherson's men, gave enough to last the whole army for five days, and was the last received from the government stores until a base was established at Chickasaw Bluffs nearly a month later. During that time the troops subsisted off of the country. Sherman, with his train, arrived at Grand Gulf on the 7th, and the advance was resumed, the line of march being along the Big Black river toward the Vicksburg & Jackson railroad, the object being to cut off the forces which Grant had reason to believe were assembling there to move to Pemberton's assistance. On the 12th, McPherson's corps fought the battle of Raymond. Two days later the Confederates under Johnston were driven from Jackson and Grant's entire army turned westward toward Vicksburg. Pemberton had moved out to meet the Federals, but was defeated in the engagements at Champion's Hill on the 16th, Big Black river bridge and Bridgeport on the 17th, and forced to retire within his works. Sherman crossed the Big Black at Bridgeport on the morning of the 18th and moved on the Bridgeport road against the enemy's position on Walnut hills. McPherson crossed the river above the Jackson road and came up in the rear of Sherman on the same road. McClernand, after crossing the river followed the Jackson road to Mount Albans where he turned to the left to reach the road leading to Baldwin's ferry. By the morning of the 19th the investment of Vicksburg was as complete as could be made with the forces at Grant's command.

During the forenoon of the 19th, while the Union troops were getting into better position, there was constant skirmishing along the lines. Knowing that the enemy had been demoralized by his recent defeats Grant was of the opinion that the Confederates would make but a feeble effort in defense of Vicksburg, and at 2 p.m. ordered an assault. But the enemy put up a more stubborn resistance than was anticipated, and the only advantage gained was to secure more advanced positions, where the men were covered from the fire of the Confederate batteries. The next two days were spent in strengthening these positions and in opening roads to the Yazoo river, where Grant had established a depot of supplies. On the evening of the 21st, regular rations were distributed among the men, many of whom had been without bread and coffee for two weeks or more. The Fort Hill road left Vicksburg on the north side, ran for some distance parallel with the river, then turned east along the crest of the ridge overlooking the Mint Spring bayou. Farther east a road ran out past a cemetery and united with the Fort Hill road about a mile and a half from the city. This was known as the Graveyard road. Near the northeast corner of Vicksburg a ridge ran eastward and along the summit of this ridge was the Jackson road, one of the principal thoroughfares entering the town. South of the Jackson road was the road leading to Baldwin's ferry. Running southeastwardly was the Hall's Ferry road, while the road to Warrenton followed the edge of the bluff down the river. A line of earthworks extended from the Fort Hill road on the north to the Warrenton road on the south, and was manned as follows: Martin L. Smith's division was along the Fort Hill road, with Vaughn's brigade on the extreme left, between the Graveyard and Baldwin's Ferry roads lay Forney's division; south of the Baldwin's Ferry road was Stevenson's division, Barton's brigade forming the extreme right. This line was defended by 128 pieces of artillery, 36 of which were siege guns of heavy caliber, while along the river front were a number of batteries in charge of Col. Higgins. Sherman's corps occupied the Union right and extended from the river to the Graveyard road. Next came McPherson, his left resting near the Baldwin's Ferry road. South of McPherson was McClernand, with a gap of over 3 miles between his left and the river. This was subsequently filled by Lauman's and Herron's divisions.

Notwithstanding the failure of the 19th, opinion was prevalent among the rank and file of the army that the works could be carried by assault. Orders were accordingly issued on the evening of the 21st for a general attack along the whole line at 10 o'clock, on the following morning. So complete were the arrangements for this movement that the corps commanders all set their watches by Grant's so that all should begin at exactly the same moment. Precisely at the time designated the three corps advanced to the attack. Sherman had planted four batteries so as to concentrate their fire on the bastion of the fort in his front, and formed a storming party of 150 to carry materials for throwing a rough bridge across the ditch. At the given signal the storming party rushed forward closely followed by Ewing's brigade. As the line advanced Hebert's brigade arose inside the parapet and opened a terrific fire on their assailants. But the storming party made a rush, crossed the ditch and planted their flag on the parapet, where it was maintained until nightfall in spite of several attempts of the enemy to capture it. The majority of the storming party were killed, and the supporting troops forced to seek the shelter of a friendly ravine about 70 yards from the fort. From this position they kept up the fight until dark. The right of McPherson's line was in a position where any attempt to advance would have been met by a cross-fire, and all that could be done by Quinby's and Logan's divisions was to make a strong demonstration to keep Forney from sending reinforcements to other parts of the line. On the left J. E. Smith's and Stevenson's brigades made a gallant charge up the slope against the fort north of the Baldwin's Ferry road. Smith was checked by a galling fire, but Stevenson pressed on to the foot of the works, where the 7th Mo. planted their colors, but after losing six standard bearers in quick succession fell back about 200 yards to a more sheltered position.

In McClernand's corps Carr's division occupied the right, with Benton's brigade on the Baldwin's Ferry road and Lawler's just south of the Jackson railroad, with A. J. Smith's division in support. Osterhaus came next and one brigade of Hovey's division was on the extreme left, the: other having been left at Big Black river bridge. As the line advanced Osterhaus and Hovey were checked by a murderous cross-fire from a square fort on their left, and though they held their position were unable to approach any nearer the enemy's works. Benton and Lawler advanced, the latter's attack being directed against a fort on a hill near the railroad. Two regiments, the 21st and 22nd Ia., charged up the hill and gained the ditch in front of the fort. Sergt. Joseph Griffith, with a small party, entered the work and engaged in a hand-to-hand fight, in which nearly all of Griffith's men were killed. The fort was abandoned by the Confederates, but it was commanded by a stronger work a short distance in the rear the Iowa troops were unable to hold it, though the flag of the 22nd waved over the parapet for the rest of the day. Benton's brigade also reached the ditch in their front and planted their colors on the parapet, while Landram's brigade, of A. J. Smith's division, joined Lawler, the colors of the 77th Ill. being planted by the side of those of the 22nd Ia. In repulsing the attacks of Benton and Lawler the Confederates used hand grenades with terrible effect. At 10:30 a.m. several Union flags were floating over the outer line of works, but further progress seemed to be impossible. Toward noon McClernand sent a message to Grant, stating that he had part possession of two of the enemy's forts, and asking that McPherson strike a vigorous blow to cause a diversion in his favor. This despatch was shown to Sherman, who sent Tuttle forward to the assistance of Blair, and ordered Giles Smith to join his brigade with that of Ransom, of McPherson's command, in an attack on the works near Graveyard road. Logan's division again advanced, but was forced back with heavy loss. Regarding this part of the action, and the despatches sent by McClernand, Grant says in his report: "The position occupied by me during most of the time of the assault gave me a better opportunity of seeing what was going on in front of the Thirteenth Army Corps than I believe it possible for the commander of it to have. I could not see his possession of forts nor necessity for reinforcements, as represented in his despatches, up to the time I left it, which was between 12 noon and 1 p.m., and I expressed doubts of their correctness, which doubts the facts subsequently, but too late, confirmed. At the time I could not disregard his reiterated statements, for they might possibly be true, and that no possible opportunity of carrying the enemy's stronghold should be allowed to escape through fault of mine, I ordered Quinby's division, which was all of McPherson's corps then present but four brigades, to report to McClernand, and notified him of the order. I showed his despatches to McPherson, as I had to Sherman, to satisfy him of the necessity of an active diversion on their part to hold as much force in their fronts as possible. The diversion was promptly and vigorously made, and resulted in the increase of our mortality list fully 50 per cent, without advancing our position or giving us other advantages."

McClernand had probably gained an erroneous idea of what had been accomplished in his front from the slight success achieved by Griffith and his little body of Iowans, but as late as 3:50 p.m. he sent a despatch to Grant, expressing his faith in his ability to force his way through as soon as McArthur and Quinby arrived to aid him. The conduct of McClernand on this occasion led to his being superseded by Maj.-Gen. Ord in command of the 13th corps soon afterward. The assault failed and that night the Union troops fell back to their original position for the siege. To conduct the siege successfully and the same time guard against an attack in the rear by the forces under Johnston, Grant called for reinforcements. These were promptly sent to him and at the close of the siege he had about 75,000 men about Vicksburg, the 9th and 16th corps and Herron's division having been added to his army. Johnston did begin the work of organizing an army at Canton for the relief of Vicksburg, but he spent so much time in correspondence with the Confederate authorities at Richmond, and was otherwise so slow in his movements, that he was not ready to begin his advance until July 1, and before be reached Vicksburg Pemberton had surrendered.

On May 13, the Union army began the work of intrenching Itself. During the siege nearly 12 miles of trenches and 89 batteries were constructed. These batteries mounted 248 guns, mostly field pieces. In the absence of mortars wooden coehorns were made from tough logs, banded with iron, and were used for throwing 6 and 12 pound shells into the Confederate trenches. A few heavy siege-guns were brought up from the gunboats and worked by naval crews. The character of the ground between the lines made it easy to run covered ways up to and even under the enemy's works. Materials for gabions and sap-rollers were found in abundance in the cane and undergrowth of the ravines. Saps were run from three points on the Jackson road to the fort just north of it, and on June 25, the mine was ready. It was charged with a ton of powder, two regiments were stationed under cover to charge through the breach, and at 3 p.m. the fuse was lighted. The explosion was a success, the two regiments rushed into the crater, which they held for 24 hours, when they were driven out with hand grenades from a second line of works which the Confederates had in the meantime thrown up in the rear of the parapet destroyed. A second mine was exploded on July 1, but no attempt was made to charge the works. About this time a despatch from Johnston to Pemberton was intercepted. From it Grant learned that it was Johnston's intention to create a diversion on July 7, in order to give the forces at Vicksburg a chance to cut their way out. Grant, therefore ordered another assault for the 6th. By this time the covered galleries had been run close up to the enemy's works in a number of places. They were now widened to permit the troops to pass through four abreast, and materials were collected for crossing the ditches. All this time a bombardment had been kept up on the city by the gunboats. Some days before Johnston's despatch was intercepted a report reached Grant to the effect that Pemberton was preparing to escape under cover of darkness to the western side of the Mississippi. Porter was directed to keep a close watch upon the river, batteries were planted on the Louisiana shore, and brushwood was arranged for firing, to light up the river in case the attempt was made. When the Union troops entered Vicksburg they found a large number of rudely constructed boats, showing that there was no doubt some truth in the report. A number of houses had been pulled down to furnish the materials for the construction of these boats.

A communication under the caption "Appeal for Help," and signed "Many Soldiers," was sent to Pemberton from the trenches. It was dated June 28, and the following extract shows the feeling that existed at that time in the Confederate ranks. "If you can't feed us, you had better surrender us, horrible as the idea is, than suffer this noble army to disgrace themselves by desertion. I tell you plainly men are not going to lie here and perish; if they do love their country, self preservation is the first law of nature, and hunger will compel a man to do almost anything. You had better heed a warning voice, though it is the voice of a private soldier. This army is now ripe for mutiny unless it can be fed." On July 1, Pemberton called on his division commanders for information "as to the condition of your troops, and their ability to make the marches and undergo the fatigues necessary to accomplish a successful evacuation." Two of the generals were outspoken in favor of surrender, and the other two expressed the opinion that any attempt to evacuate would prove a failure. About 10 o'clock, on the morning of the 3rd white flags were displayed on the enemy's works and hostilities along that portion of the line ceased. A little later Gen. Bowen and Col. Montgomery were seen coming under another white flag toward the Union lines. Montgomery bore a letter from Pemberton to Grant, proposing an armistice and the appointment of three commissioners from each army to arrange terms for the capitulation of Vicksburg and stating that he made the proposition to save the further effusion of flood: To this letter Grant replied as follows: " * * * The useless effusion of blood you propose stopping by this course can be ended at any time you may choose, by the unconditional surrender of the city and garrison. Men who have shown so much endurance and courage as those now in Vicksburg will always challenge the respect of an adversary and I can assure you will be treated with all the respect due to prisoners of war. I do not favor the proposition of appointing commissioners to arrange terms of capitulation, because I have no terms other than those indicated above."

With this letter Grant sent a verbal message, asking Pemberton to meet him at a given point between the lines at 3 o'clock, that afternoon; At that meeting it was agreed that hostilities should cease until the correspondence was ended, and Grant promised to give Pemberton his final propositions by 10 o'clock, that night. After the conference Grant called together his corps commanders, and after consultation with them sent the following letter to Pemberton: "In conformity with agreement of this afternoon I will submit the following proposition for the surrender of the city of Vicksburg, public stores, etc. On your accepting the terms proposed I will march in one division as a guard, and take possession at 8 a.m. tomorrow. As soon as rolls can be made out and paroles signed by officers and men, you will be allowed to march out of our lines, the officers taking with them their side arms and clothing, and the field, staff, and cavalry officers one horse each. The rank and file will be allowed all their clothing, but no other property. If these conditions are accepted, any amount of rations you may deem necessary can be takes from the stores you now have, and also the necessary cooking utensils for preparing them. Thirty wagons also, counting two-horse or mule teams as one, will be allowed to transport such articles as cannot be carried along. The same conditions will be allowed to all sick and wounded officers and soldiers as fast as they become able to travel. The paroles for these latter must be signed, however, whilst officers present are authorized to sign the roll of prisoners."

These terms were subsequently modified to permit each brigade of the Confederate army to march to the front of the position occupied by it and stack arms, after which the men were to return to the inside of the works, where they were to remain until all were paroled. Accordingly at 10 a.m. on the 4th the various commands moved outside and stacked their arms. Logan's division was the first to enter the city, and before noon the national colors floated over the court-house. The work of paroling the prisoners was hurried forward as rapidly as possible, the number of prisoners surrendered being 31,600, together with 172 pieces of artillery, 60,000 muskets and a large quantity of ammunition. The losses of the Union army during the siege, including the assaults on May 19 and 22, were 763 killed, 3,746 wounded, and 162 missing. The Confederate reports of casualties are imperfect. Incomplete returns show the losses from May 1 to July 3, to have been 1,260 killed, 3,572 wounded and 4,227 captured, though the whole number was probably not far from 12,000. The fall of Vicksburg opened the Mississippi to the Federal armies and coming just at the same time as Lee's defeat at Gettysburg the two victories marked the turning point in the fortunes of the Confederacy. (For the campaign in the rear of Vicksburg see Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion's Hill and Big Black River Bridge.)

Source: The Union Army, vol. 6, p. 890

Regimental History
(Three Years)

Ninety-third Infantry. - Col., Holden Putnam; Lieut.-Col., Nicholas C. Buswell; Maj., James M. Fisher. This regiment was organized at Chicago in Sept., 1862, and was mustered in on Oct. 13. It left for Memphis, Tenn., 998 strong, Nov. 9, ar- rived on the 14th, moved with Gen. Grant's army in the northern Mississippi campaign to Yocona creek, and thence via Lumpkin's mill to Memphis, arriving Dec. 30. It was first under fire at the battle of Jackson, Miss. in May, 1863, where it partici- pated in the advance, losing 3 killed and 4 wounded. Two days later it was engaged in the battle of Champion's hill, the loss of the regiment being 1 officer and 37 men killed, 6 officers and 107 men wounded, and 1 officer and 10 men missing. On May 22 it was engaged in the assault on the enemy's works at Vicks- burg, losing 10 or 12 men killed and wounded. At 4 p. m. of the same day it charged the enemy, and lost in the charge 5 men killed, and 1 officer and 49 men wounded. On Nov. 24 the regi- ment crossed the Tennessee river and threw up a tete de pont, occupying it until the pontoon bridge was built, and the next day was heavily engaged at Missionary ridge, losing 20 killed, 42 wounded and 27 missing. On Oct. 5, 1864, the 93rd was a part of the force which so signally defeated Gen. French's Con- federate division at Allatoona. In that engagement the regi- ment lost 21 killed, 3 officers and 49 men wounded, and 10 missing. In November it started on the march to the sea, and on Dec. 11 skirmished with the enemy at Ogeechee canal, losing 1 killed and 2 wounded. It accompanied Sherman in the campaign of the Carolinas, then to Washington where it participated in the grand review and on May 31 moved to Louisville, Ky. On June 23, 1865, it was mustered out and on the 25th arrived at Chicago. During its two years and seven months' service the casualties in battle of the 93d were 446, and 1 officer and 31 men accidentally wounded.

Source: The Union Army, vol. 3

Battles Fought
Fought at Ridgeway, TN.
Fought on 14 May 1863 at Jackson, MS.
Fought on 16 May 1863 at Champion Hills, MS.
Fought on 22 May 1863 at Vicksburg, MS.
Fought on 23 May 1863 at Vicksburg, MS.
Fought on 23 November 1863 at Tunnel Hill, GA.
Fought on 25 November 1863 at Missionary Ridge, TN.
Fought on 05 October 1864 at Allatoona, GA.
Fought on 21 March 1865.

Source: Historical Data Systems Inc (reprinted with permission)

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