Grand Gulf, MS

Date(s): April 29, 1863

Location: Please click on link below for map.

Grand Gulf, Claiborne, Mississippi, United States

Campaign(s): Grant's Operations Against Vicksburg
[March-July 1863]

Battles in Campaign:




  • Union: Rear Adm. David D. Porter

  • Confederate: Brig. Gen. John S. Bowen

Principal Forces:

  • Union: Mississippi Squadron and Companies of the 58th Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment

  • Confederate: Bowen's Division and attached troops


  • Rear Adm. David D. Porter led seven ironclads in an attack on the fortifications and batteries at Grand Gulf, with the intention of silencing the Confederate guns and then securing the area with troops of McClernand's XIII Army Corps who were on the accompanying transports and barges.

  • The attack by the seven ironclads began at 8:00 am and continued until about 1:30 pm. During the fight, the ironclads moved within 100 yards of the Confederate guns and silenced the lower batteries of Fort Wade; the Confederate upper batteries at Fort Cobun remained out of reach and continued to fire.

  • The Union ironclads (one of which, the Tuscumbia, had been put out of action) and the transports drew off.

  • After dark, however, the ironclads engaged the Confederate guns again while the steamboats and barges ran the gauntlet. Grant marched his men overland across Coffee Point to below the Gulf.

  • After the transports had passed Grand Gulf, they embarked the troops at Disharoon's plantation and disembarked them on the Mississippi shore at Bruinsburg, below Grand Gulf.

  • The men immediately began marching overland towards Port Gibson.

  • The Confederates had won a hollow victory; the loss at Grand Gulf caused just a slight change in Grant's offensive.

  • It was Grant's intention to force a crossing of the river at Grand Gulf, and move on "Fortress Vicksburg" from the south. For five hours on April 29, the Union fleet bombarded the Grand Gulf defenses in an attempt to silence the Confederate guns and prepare the way for a landing. T

  • he fleet, however, sustained heavy damage and failed to achieve its objective. Admiral Porter declared, "Grand Gulf is the strongest place on the Mississippi."

  • Not wishing to have his transports loaded with troops attempt a landing in the face of enemy fire, Grant disembarked his command and continued the march south along the levee.

Photo Gallery2

Grand Gulf Military Park

The Buildup for War

Grand Gulf Military Park

War Comes to Grand Gulf




Officers at
Grand Gulf




Supporting Battery Supporting Battery   First Grand Gulf Naval Battle

Second Grand Gulf Naval Battle 13-inch Mortar 13-inch Mortar Fort Wade

Fort Wade Ammunition Magazine

Site of Destroyed Ammunition Magazine

Rifle Pits

Rifle Pits

Rifle Pits

Naval Battle During Grant's Campaign

Point of Rock


View of Mississippi River from Gun Emplacements

Site of Hot Shot Furnace

View of Mississippi River from Gun Emplacements Gun Emplacements


Slide Presentation: None



  • Union: 80

  • Confederate: Unknown

Results: Confederate Victory

Battlefield Websites:

Lodging and Restaurants: Mississippi Tourism

Recommended Resources: 

1 National Park Service summary.

2 Please click on the image to enlarge it. You may copy the images if you include the following note and link with each image: "Courtesy of"

3 Classification:

  • A - having a decisive influence on a campaign and a direct impact on the course of the war

  • B - having a direct and decisive influence on their campaign

  • C - having observable influence on the outcome of a campaign

  • D - having a limited influence on the outcome of their campaign or operation but achieving or affecting important local objectives

4 Casualties are someone killed, injured, wounded, captured or missing.

Revised 03/29/2013