American Battlefield Trust’s map of the Battle and Siege of Vicksburg
After falling back from the Big Black River Bridge battle on May 17, Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton’s Confederates filed into the defenses around Vicksburg and dug in. Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, hoping to catch the Rebels off guard before they could fortify their positions, ordered an attack. The first Union troops to reach Vicksburg were the XV Corps divisions of Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman. The center of the May 19 assault was the Confederate position at the Stockade Redan. After fierce fighting, Sherman’s men pulled back with 1,000 casualties.
Undaunted, Grant tried again. Early on May 22, Union artillery opened fire and for four hours bombarded the city's defenses. At 10:00 am Union infantry was sent forward along a 3-mile front. Sherman attacked again down the Graveyard Road, Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson in the center along the Jackson Road, and Maj. Gen. John A. McClernand on the south at the Railroad Redoubt, where the Southern Railroad entered the Confederate lines. The redoubt was breached by men from the XIII Corps, the only Confederate position captured that day. Timely reinforcements pushed McClernand’s men back to their lines.
Grant tried a third time. On June 25, a mine was detonated under the 3rd Louisiana Redan, with little result except more bloodshed.