Jackson, MS

[Battle of Jackson, Mississippi by A.E. Mathews, 31st Reg., O.V.- Courtesy of Wikipedia]

Date(s): May 14, 1863

Location: Please click on link below for map.

Jackson, Mississippi, United States

Campaign(s): Grant's Operations Against Vicksburg

Battles in Campaign:

Situation:

  • On May 9, 1863, Gen. Joseph E. Johnston received a dispatch from the Confederate Secretary of War directing him to “proceed at once to Mississippi and take chief command of the forces in the field.”

  • As he arrived in Jackson on the 13th, from Middle Tennessee, he learned that two army corps from the Union Army of the Tennessee, the XV, under Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman and the XVII under Maj. Gen. James Birdseye McPherson, were advancing on Jackson, intending to cut the city and the railroads off from Vicksburg.

Commanders:

  • Union: Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant 

  • Confederate: Gen. Joseph E. Johnston and Brig. Gen. John Gregg

Principal Forces:

  • Union: Army of the Tennessee

  • Confederate: Jackson Garrison

Description:

  • Johnston consulted with the local commander, Brig. Gen. John Gregg, and learned that there were only about 6,000 troops to defend the town.

  • Johnston ordered the evacuation of Jackson and told Gregg to defend Jackson until the evacuation was completed.

  • By 10:00 am, both Union army corps were near Jackson and had engaged the enemy.

  • Rain, Confederate resistance, and poor defenses prevented heavy fighting until around 11:00 am, when Union forces attacked in numbers and slowly pushed the enemy back.

  • In mid-afternoon, Johnston informed Gregg that the evacuation was complete and that he should disengage and follow.

  • After the Confederates left Jackson, the Federal forces entered the city Jackson and held a celebration in the Bowman House, hosted by Maj. Gen. U.S. Grant who had been traveling with Sherman’s corps, .

  • The Union forces burned part of the town and cut the railroad connections with Vicksburg.

  • Johnston’s evacuation of Jackson was a tragedy because he could have had 11,000 troops at his disposal by late on the 14th and another 4,000 by the morning of the 15th.

  • The fall of the former Mississippi state capital was a blow to Confederate morale.

Slide Presentation: None [Battlefield Lost Integrity]

Classification2: B

Casualties3:

  • Union: 286

  • Confederate: 850

Results: Union Victory

Battlefield Websites: 

Lodging and Restaurants: Mississippi Tourism

Recommended Resources:


1 National Park Service summary.

2 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

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

Revised 03/22/2013