Wednesday, May 22, 2013

May 21, 1863

May 21, 1863

---Battle of Plains Store, Louisiana -- Gen. Nathaniel Banks and the Army of the Gulf, after campaigning in southern Louisiana over the last couple of months, converges on Port Hudson from several directions.  In addition, reinforcements  come from New Orleans.  Banks has 30,000 opposing Confederate Gen. Franklin Gardner’s 7,500.  On this date, Gen. Christopher Auger, with a Federal division, drives back advance Rebel forces north of Port Hudson---but only after six hours of delay and charge and countercharge.  Thus, Auger creates a staging area north of the Confederate bastion, and cutting off the Rebels’ last escape route.  The Siege of Port Hudson is under way.  Union Victory.

Maj. Gen. Nathaniel Banks, USA


---The Richmond Daily Dispatch publishes this editorial, offering an overly optimistic picture of what is happening to Confederate fortunes on the Mississippi:

Affairs at Vicksburg.

We present under our telegraphic head all the news we have from this important point. It is natural that much anxiety should be felt with reference to the defence of this place, and, without presuming to know more than others, we predict that all will be well there on the great day of trial of strength between the two armies. There is nothing, in our judgment, in the recent repulse of Gen. Pemberton to lead to the belief that there is any danger of the fall, immediate or remote, of Vicksburg. We are informed from various sources that our forces within the entrenchments, extending from the city as far back as the Big Black, have a supply of provisions sufficient to subsist them for four months.

In the late fight only a portion of our forces were engaged, and Gen. Johnston, who is now in command of all the forces employed for the protection of the place, with the reinforcements sent to his aid, had not arrived in time to participate in the struggle. His dispatch the day subsequent to the fight was dated forty miles from the scene of the engagement. From all we can gather we are decidedly hopeful as to the final issue.

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