Battle of Jackson (MS)
The Battle of Jackson, fought on May 14, 1863, in Jackson, Mississippi
Jackson, Mississippi
Jackson is the capital and the most populous city of the US state of Mississippi. It is one of two county seats of Hinds County ,. The population of the city declined from 184,256 at the 2000 census to 173,514 at the 2010 census...

, was part of the Vicksburg Campaign
Vicksburg Campaign
The Vicksburg Campaign was a series of maneuvers and battles in the Western Theater of the American Civil War directed against Vicksburg, Mississippi, a fortress city that dominated the last Confederate-controlled section of the Mississippi River. The Union Army of the Tennessee under Maj. Gen....

 in the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

. Union
Union Army
The Union Army was the land force that fought for the Union during the American Civil War. It was also known as the Federal Army, the U.S. Army, the Northern Army and the National Army...

 commander Maj. Gen.
Major general (United States)
In the United States Army, United States Marine Corps, and United States Air Force, major general is a two-star general-officer rank, with the pay grade of O-8. Major general ranks above brigadier general and below lieutenant general...

 Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant
Ulysses S. Grant was the 18th President of the United States as well as military commander during the Civil War and post-war Reconstruction periods. Under Grant's command, the Union Army defeated the Confederate military and ended the Confederate States of America...

 and the Army of the Tennessee
Army of the Tennessee
The Army of the Tennessee was a Union army in the Western Theater of the American Civil War, named for the Tennessee River. It should not be confused with the similarly named Army of Tennessee, a Confederate army named after the State of Tennessee....

 defeated Confederate
Confederate States of America
The Confederate States of America was a government set up from 1861 to 1865 by 11 Southern slave states of the United States of America that had declared their secession from the U.S...

 General Joseph E. Johnston
Joseph E. Johnston
Joseph Eggleston Johnston was a career U.S. Army officer, serving with distinction in the Mexican-American War and Seminole Wars, and was also one of the most senior general officers in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War...

, seizing the city, cutting supply lines, and opening the path to the west and the Siege of Vicksburg
Battle of Vicksburg
The Siege of Vicksburg 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...



On May 9, Gen. 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 May 13, from Middle Tennessee
Middle Tennessee
Middle Tennessee is a distinct portion of the state of Tennessee, delineated according to state law as the 41 counties in the Middle Grand Division of 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 B. McPherson
James B. McPherson
James Birdseye McPherson was a career United States Army officer who served as a General in the Union Army during the American Civil War...

—were advancing on Jackson, intending to cut the city and the railroads off from Vicksburg, Mississippi which was a major port on the Mississippi River
Mississippi River
The Mississippi River is the largest river system in North America. Flowing entirely in the United States, this river rises in western Minnesota and meanders slowly southwards for to the Mississippi River Delta at the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains...

. These corps, under the overall command of Grant, had crossed the Mississippi River south of Vicksburg and driven northeast toward Jackson. The railroad connections were to be cut to isolate the Vicksburg garrison. And if the Confederate troops in Jackson were defeated, they would be unable to threaten Grant's flank or rear during his eventual assault on Vicksburg.


Johnston consulted with the local commander, Brig. Gen. John Gregg
John Gregg (CSA)
John Gregg was an American judge, politician, and general in the Confederate States Army during the American Civil War. He was killed in action during the Siege of Petersburg.-Early life and career:...

, and learned that only about 6,000 troops were available to defend the town. Johnston ordered the evacuation of Jackson, but Gregg was to defend Jackson until the evacuation was completed. By 10 a.m., both Union army corps were near Jackson and had engaged the enemy. Rain, Confederate resistance, and poor defenses prevented heavy fighting until around 11 a.m., when Union forces attacked in numbers and slowly but surely pushed the enemy back. In mid-afternoon, Johnston informed Gregg that the evacuation was complete and that he should disengage and follow.


Soon after, Union troops entered Jackson and had a celebration in the Bowman House, hosted by Grant, who had been traveling with Sherman's corps. They then burned part of the town and cut the railroad connections with Vicksburg. Johnston's evacuation of Jackson was premature because he could, by late on May 14, have had 11,000 troops at his disposal and by the morning of May 15, another 4,000. The fall of the former Mississippi state capital was a blow to Confederate morale.

General Sherman appointed Brig. Gen. Joseph A. Mower
Joseph A. Mower
Joseph Anthony Mower was a Union general during the American Civil War. He was a competent officer and well respected by his troops and fellow officers to whom he was known as "Fighting Joe". William T. Sherman said of Mower, "he's the boldest young officer we have".-Biography:Mower was born in...

 to the position of military governor of Jackson and ordered him to destroy all facilities that could benefit the war effort. With the discovery of a large supply of rum, it was impossible for Mower's Brigade to keep order among the mass of soldiers and camp followers, and many acts of pillage took place. Grant left Jackson on the afternoon of May 15 and proceeded to Clinton, Mississippi
Clinton, Mississippi
Clinton is a city in Hinds County, Mississippi, United States. Situated in the Jackson metropolitan area, it is the tenth largest city in Mississippi. The population was 23,347 at the 2000 United States Census.-History:...

. On the morning of May 16 he sent orders for Sherman to move out of Jackson as soon as the destruction was complete. Sherman marched almost immediately, clearing the city by 10 a.m.. By nightfall on May 16, Sherman's corps reached Bolton, Mississippi
Bolton, Mississippi
Bolton is a town in Hinds County, Mississippi, United States. The population was 629 as of the 2000 census. It is part of the Jackson Metropolitan Statistical Area.-Geography:Bolton is located at ....

, and the Confederacy had reoccupied what remained of Jackson. Jackson had been destroyed as a transportation center and the war industries were crushed. But more importantly the Confederate concentration of men and materials aimed at saving Vicksburg were scattered. Sherman would later lead an expedition against Jackson
Jackson Expedition
The Jackson Expedition occurred in the aftermath of the surrender of Vicksburg, Mississippi in July 1863. Union Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman led the expedition to clear General Joseph E. Johnston's relief effort from the Vicksburg area.-Background:...

following the fall of Vicksburg to clear Johnston's relief force from the area.
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