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Vicksburg, Mississippi: Battlefield with the Explosion of the Rebel Fort Hill, July 3-4

Object Number: 
1945.580.102
Date: 
1863
Medium: 
Graphite on paper
Dimensions: 
Overall: 9 3/4 x 13 1/4 in. ( 24.8 x 33.7 cm )
Inscriptions: 
Verso inscribed at lower right in graphite: "Vicksburg Battlefield..."
Description: 
Civil War Drawings Collection. The Siege of Vicksburg. After a series of failed assaults, Grant realized that he would have to isolate Vicksburg from its supply lines, so settled into a siege. Late in the siege, Union troops tunneled under the 3rd Louisiana Redan and packed the mine with 2,200 pounds of gunpowder. The explosion blew apart the Confederate lines on 25 June , while an infantry attack followed the blast. The 45th Illinois Regiment charged into the deep crater with ease, but were stopped by recovering Confederate infantry. The Union soldiers became pinned down while the defenders rolled artillery shells with short fuses into the pit with deadly results. Union engineers worked to set up a casement in the crater in order to extricate the infantry, and the soldiers fell back to a new defensive line. From the crater left by the explosion on 25 June, Union miners worked to dig a new tunnel to the south. On 1 July , the mine was detonated but no infantry attack followed. Miners worked throughout 2 July, and 3 July to widen the initial crater for an infantry column of four to pass through for future anticipated assaults. However, events the following day negated the need for any further assaults.
Credit Line: 
James B. Wilbur Fund
Provenance: 
John T. Kavanaugh Collection, Rutherford, New Jersey, 1945
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group