This Week in the Civil War - 540

Apr 3, 2013

President Jefferson Davis on April 2, 1863, in response to criticism of Vicksburg’s commanding general, John Clifford Pemberton, wrote:

“By his judicious disposition of his forces and skillful selection of the best points of defense he has repulsed the enemy at Vicksburg, Port Hudson, on the Tallahatchie and at Deer Creek, and has thus far foiled his every attempt to get possession of the Mississippi river and the vast section of country which it controls.” 

Davis’ support was critical to Pemberton, given that Pemberton’s command was described by one observer as “a beaten and demoralized army, fresh from the defeat at Corinth” and only half the size of Ulysses Grant’s Federal army opposing it. Pemberton’s initial success at stopping Grant’s drive on Confederate held Vicksburg was an extraordinary achievement.