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Photo courtesy of Gloria Swift

Vicksburg: Grant Crosses the Mississippi

Feb 20-24, 2018

Part 3 of our Vicksburg Critical Civil War Campaign Study

Regrouping after the shocking raids on his supply lines, Grant relocated to the Louisiana side of the river across from Vicksburg and plotted his grand strategy. Having been advised to return to Memphis by both his naval component commander, David Dixon Porter, and his most trusted subordinate, William T. Sherman, Grant had declined to go back, noting the administration could not stand the adverse publicity in the wake of horrific casualties at the battles of Fredericksburg, Chickasaw Bayou and Stones River.

The winter months were not idle ones as Grant launched a series of expeditions designed to turn the Confederates out of powerful lines on the Walnut Hills bluffs above Vicksburg. Although none succeeded, they did condition his army to move when the spring weather arrived. Grant was ordered to cooperate with Major General Nathaniel Banks who was to operate against a new Confederate stronghold at Port Hudson, Louisiana–a move that would make him subordinate to Banks when they joined forces. Grant dutifully moved south on the Louisiana side of the river but created a series of diversions to cause the Confederates to look east at spurious cavalry raids while he moved down the river opposite Grand Gulf. This program is about that operation; then the crossing of the river and the establishment of a beachhead near Port Gibson, Mississippi.


Parker Hills is the nation’s leading historian on the Vicksburg Campaign and a scholar of some note on the Gettysburg Campaign. He has a well-earned reputation for the highest standards of preparation on tours and the exceptional educational value of his content. Being with Hills is like taking a senior military service school course in which you will surely leave with far more knowledge than when you arrived. Parker is a graduate of the US Army War College and he is in high demand from businesses and military organizations that want his leadership training. He is the founder of BattleFocus and is a retired brigadier general who served on both active duty as a battery commander in Korea, and as an aide to General of the Army Omar Bradley. He was the Director of Public Affairs for the Mississippi National Guard and he founded the Regional Counter Drug Training Academy in Meridian, Mississippi. Parker is the co-author of Receding Tide, Vicksburg and Gettysburg, The Campaigns that Changed the Civil War. He also has published the Vicksburg Campaign Driving Guide and The Art of Commemoration, a book that reveals the symbolism and beauty of the commemorative memorialization at the Vicksburg park. He additionally is the driving force for preservation in the state of Mississippi, and largely through his efforts the Raymond Battlefield Park exists. He is in high demand, and his programs cost a little more; but, you will quickly see that they are well worth it.