Vicksburg | May 19, 1863
On the evening of May 17, Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton’s beleaguered army poured into their lines around Vicksburg after their defeats at Champion Hill and along the Big Black River. Looking for a quick victory and not wanting to give Pemberton time to settle in, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant ordered an immediate assault. Of his three corps, only Maj. Gen. William T. Sherman’s XV Corps northeast of the city was in a position to attack on the 19th. Sherman’s assault focused on the Stockade Redan, named for a log stockade wall across the Graveyard Road connecting two gun positions. Here, the 27th Louisiana Infantry, reinforced by Col. Francis Cockrell’s Missouri Brigade, manned the rifle pits.
Sherman’s men moved forward down the road at 2 p.m. and were immediately slowed by the ravines and obstructions in front of the redan. Bloody combat ensued outside the Confederate works. The 13th United States Infantry, once commanded by Sherman, planted their colors on the redan but could advance no further. Capt. Edward C. Washington, the grandnephew of George Washington, commanding the regiment’s 1st Battalion, was mortally wounded in the attack. After fierce fighting, Sherman’s men pulled back after sustaining some 1,000 casualties.