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Grant Disposes of Johnston:
Part 4 of Our Signature Vicksburg Campaign Study

September 18-22, 2018

A BGES Critical Civil War Campaign Study

Mr. D’s Heavenly Fried Chicken and General Store / Photo courtesy of Mike Green

The battle at Port Gibson sent shock waves through the Confederacy. Even as Lee was turning to meet Joseph Hooker’s turning movement in the Wilderness of Virginia, telegraphic messages from the governor of Mississippi sought relief from the impending blue juggernaut. Things would not get any better for the Confederates.

Bamboozled by Grant’s deceptive maneuvers, Confederate commanders John C. Pemberton near Vicksburg and Joseph E. Johnston scrambled to respond. Pemberton still held a substantial and strong position with his southern flank anchored on Redbone Ridge. It was widely assumed that Grant would come directly at Vicksburg and that the defenses would prove as daunting as those around Chickasaw Bluffs and Walnut Hills to the north. They had not a clue.

Grant had made a key decision to disregard orders to support General Banks in Louisiana, and he had a couple of weeks to make something happen before guidance from Washington clipped his wings. He would make the most of it. This program will follow Grant’s planning and actions as he establishes his new supply base at Grand Gulf and fans out on a wide front moving each of his three corps along separate routes. This is the art of command and the odds are not even—Grant against Johnston and Pemberton, a decisive commander facing two dithering and indecisive officers. Pemberton under preemptive orders to hold Vicksburg and Johnston whose Fabian mindset will not let him fight battles nor work with the political leadership to achieve national objectives. Grant will tackle both and eliminate one during this pivotal period in the Vicksburg Campaign.


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 Parker 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 a retired general officer 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. Parker has also 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 Civil War 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.

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