On Monday, December 29, 1862, General William Tecumseh* Sherman advanced toward the foot of the bluffs north of Vicksburg, Mississippi near Chickasaw Bayou.
Over the next several days, the Confederate defenders successfully thwarted Sherman’s advance. In this contest, Sherman’s estimated 31,000 troops suffered many casualties, while the Confederates with less than half as many—suffered few.
The bluffs at Chickasaw Bayou were simply too strong to be assaulted, reminiscent of Burnside’s attempt at Fredericksburg to take Marye’s Hill. Union losses at Chickasaw Bayou confirmed that a direct assault against Confederate Vicksburg would be costly for the Federal forces; Ulysses Grant began to consider alternative ways to conquer the heavily fortified city and its Confederate defenders.