Friday, May 18

The Siege of Vicksburg

Momma says it's kind of strange to know what an ancestor was doing and where 149 years after the fact.

Her great-great-grandfather, Capt. William H. Huls, is the bearded officer at the front left of this memorial photo.

The inscription reads:

History of Company "H," 58 Ohio Infantry Volunteers. 
The company was organized at Camp Medill, Ohio on the 26th of November, 1861, and non-veterans mustered out of service January 8, 1865. During the above time were in the following engagements and skirmishes. In the battle of Fort Donelson, Tenn., February 15th and 16, 1862; Shiloh, Tenn., April 7th, 1862; skirmishes at Milliken's Bend, La., Hayne's Bluff, Greenville and Bolivar Landing, Miss. Aug. 1862; in the battle of Fort Morgan, Miss., Dec. 27th, 28th, and 29th, 1862; Arkansas Post, on the Arkansas river, Jan 10th and 11th, 1863; detached on U.S. gunboat Pittsburg Feb. 7th, 1863; in action at Tolling Fork, Miss., Mar 19, 20, and 21, 1863; in action while running the blockade of Vicksburg, Miss., April 16, 1863; Fort Beauregard, La., May 10th and 11th, 1863; and inactions at Simsport, La., June 4th, '63. Rejoined the regiment at Vickburg, Miss., Oct. 12, 1863. 
Alterations of the Company Since Its Organization 
Enlisted as veterans, Jan 1863, 25; recruits from depots, 16; transferred, 2; discharged, 13; died of disease, 15; killed inaction, 10. Total number killed and wounded during the campaign ofthree years, four months, and three days, 27.

The Siege of Vicksburg (May 18 – July 4, 1863) was the final major military action in the Vicksburg Campaign of the American Civil War. In a series of maneuvers, Union Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee crossed the Mississippi River and drove the Confederate army of Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton into the defensive lines surrounding the fortress city of Vicksburg, Miss.

When two major assaults (May 19 and May 22, 1863) against the Confederate fortifications were repulsed with heavy casualties, Grant decided to besiege the city beginning on May 25. With no reinforcement, supplies nearly gone, and after holding out for more than 40 days, the garrison finally surrendered on July 4. This action (combined with the capitulation of Port Hudson on July 9) yielded command of the Mississippi River to the Union forces, who would hold it for the rest of the conflict.

The Confederate surrender following the siege at Vicksburg is sometimes considered, when combined with Gen. Robert E. Lee's defeat at Gettysburg the previous day, the turning point of the war. It also cut off communication with Confederate forces in the Trans-Mississippi Department for the remainder of the war.

The city of Vicksburg would not celebrate Independence Day for about 80 years as a result of the siege and surrender.

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