This Week in the Civil War - 579

May 28, 2013

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.