This Month in the Civil War – May, 1863
General Ulysses S. Grant’s attempt to cross his Army of the Tennessee into Mississippi at Grand Gulf on April 29, 1863 met with fierce resistance from the Confederates whose hastily constructed defenses atop a 50 foot high promontory featured 16 artillery pieces. As Admiral David Porter bombarded them from his ships in the river, the rebels fought back fiercely. A duel went on for five hours, with Grant watching the action from a tug in the middle of the Mississippi.
Seeing that the Confederates were not about to give in, Grant opted to seek out a new crossing site where his soldiers would have a passable route overland to Grand Gulf. He needed Grand Gulf for a supply base as he moved to capture the crucial Mississippi river port of Vicksburg.
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