This Week in the Civil War - 576

May 23, 2013

By late May 1863 both presidents of the North and South were busily corresponding with their subordinates in the field.  Jefferson Davis wired General Braxton Bragg at Tullahoma, Tennessee, expressing concerns whether the Vicksburg garrison could be sustained and noting “The vital issue of holding the Mississippi at Vicksburg is dependent on the success of General Johnston in an attack on the investing force….Can you help him?” 

To General Joseph Johnston, Davis wired that he was “hopeful of junction of your forces and defeat of the enemy.”  In a separate wire Davis urged immediate action since “the disparity of numbers [at Vicksburg] renders prolonged defence (sic) dangerous.”  In Washington, D.C., Abraham Lincoln continued to confer with military and naval officials about the recent unsuccessful attack on Confederate held, Charlestown, South Carolina.