---Ulysses S. Grant writes in his Memoirs of the campaign in central Mississippi at this point, and his reasoning in moving toward Jackson rather than straight to Vicksburg:
Pemberton was now on my left, with, as I supposed, about 18,000 men; in fact, as I learned afterwards, with nearly 50,000. A force was also collecting on my right, at Jackson, the point where all the railroads communicating with Vicksburg connect. All the enemy's supplies of men and stores would come by that point. As I hoped in the end to besiege Vicksburg I must first destroy all possibility of aid. I therefore determined to move swiftly towards Jackson, destroy or drive any force in that direction and then turn upon Pemberton. But by moving against Jackson, I uncovered my own communication. So I finally decided to have none—to cut loose altogether from my base and move my whole force eastward. I then had no fears for my communications, and if I moved quickly enough could turn upon Pemberton before he could attack me in the rear.
---Battle of Jackson – Grant’s troops dash towards Jackson, the Mississippi state capital. Gen. Joseph Johnston, who has hastened there with 10,000 men, decides that he cannot stop Grant, and so withdraws north of the city. Gen. John Gregg, with 6,000 Confederates, establishes a defensive line west of the city, unaided by Johnston, and McPherson deploys his Federal XVII Corps in line of battle. Sherman advances his corps from the south. Gen. Grant notes the opening movements of the battle in the midst of bad weather:
As the Federals launch the assault, Gregg is driven back to a second defensive line. Grant adds details:
Just as the Federals launch a second attack, they find that Gregg has abandoned the position:
U.S., 300 Confederate, 850
|A Union soldier of the 8th New York Rifles on picket duty, by Alfred Waud|