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Big Black River Bridge

Hinds County and Warren County, MS  |  May 17, 1863

Reeling from their defeat at Champion Hill and retreating west toward Vicksburg, the Confederates under Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton reached the Big Black River railroad bridge the night of May 16, 1863. Pemberton ordered Brig. Gen. John S. Bowen, with three brigades, to fortify the east bank of the river to impede Union army pursuit. Three divisions of Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand’s XIII Corps moved west from Edwards Station on the morning of the 17th and encountered the Confederates behind their breastworks. Union Brig. Gen. Michael Lawler formed his brigade and surged out of a cut near the river, across the front of the Confederate forces, and into their breastworks, held by John C. Vaughn’s East Tennessee Brigade. Confused and panicked, the Rebels began to withdraw across the railroad bridge and three steamboats moored together athwart the river. As soon as they had crossed, the Confederates set fire to the bridge and the boats, preventing close Union pursuit. The Union forces captured almost 1,800 troops at the Big Black River, a loss that the Confederates could ill-afford. The battle sealed Vicksburg’s fate: Pemberton’s army was now bottled up in the city.

All battles of the Grant's Operations Against Vicksburg Campaign

Civil War  |  Battle
Port Gibson
Claiborne County, MS  |  May 1, 1863
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 1,628
Union: 861
Confederate: 767
Civil War  |  Battle
Raymond
Hinds County, MS  |  May 12, 1863
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 961
Union: 446
Confederate: 515
Civil War  |  Battle
Champion Hill
Hinds County, MS  |  May 16, 1863
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 6,297
Union: 2,457
Confederate: 3,840
Civil War  |  Battle
Big Black River Bridge
Hinds County and Warren County, MS  |  May 17, 1863
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 2,273
Union: 273
Confederate: 1,751
Civil War  |  Battle
Vicksburg
Warren County, MS  |  May 18 - Jul 4, 1863
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 37,273
Union: 4,910
Confederate: 32,363
Civil War  |  Battle
La batalla de Vicksburg
Warren County, MS  |  May 18 - Jul 4, 1863
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 37,273
Union: 4,910
Confederate: 32,363
Civil War  |  Battle
Milliken's Bend
Madison Parish, LA  |  Jun 7, 1863
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 837
Union: 652
Confederate: 185
Civil War  |  Battle
Helena
Phillips County, AR  |  Jul 4, 1863
Result: Union Victory
Est. Casualties: 1,842
Union: 206
Confederate: 1,636

Related Battles

Bovina, MS | May 17, 1863
Result: Union Victory
Commanders
Forces Engaged
4,500
Union
2,500
Confed.
2,000
Estimated Casualties
2,273
Union
273
Confed.
1,751