West to Vicksburg


Part 5 of Our Signature Vicksburg Campaign Study

A BGES Civil War Field University Program

March 20-24, 2019

Sketched by Mr. Theodore R. Davis
Harper’s Weekly, 1863

Gen. U.S. Grant’s vision for reducing Vicksburg and reopening the Mississippi was dependent upon direct disobedience of his orders; he expected that the error would not be known in Washington until he had created his own irresistible momentum against Vicksburg. Having drawn the Rebels out of Vicksburg and having chased away the docile Gen. Joseph E. Johnston, Grant turned his attention on Gen. John C. Pemberton’s forces, which were now outside the earthworks of Vicksburg. This tour will cover in detail Grant’s intelligence network, the key to his success. We will then fight the battles at Champion’s Hill and the Big Black River, as Grant’s aggressive maneuvers chase Pemberton back into his fortifications. We will close this program walking those earthworks. A robust opening briefing will fill you in on Parts 1-4 and the importance of this fifth part, with three more to follow. BGES’ signature campaign series is now in its third cycle.



A retired brigadier general, Mississippi Army National Guard, who also served almost 32 years as a Regular Army and National Guard officer, Parker Hills is an expert on Mississippi battlefields. He has conducted the Military Staff Ride program for years for the state of Mississippi, conducts tours for Road Scholars (formerly Elderhostel), and is a corporate leadership trainer who founded Battle Focus. He is active in the preservation of Civil War battlefields and has served as president of Friends of Raymond and of Friends of the Vicksburg Campaign and Historic Trail. He was chair of the Mississippi Civil War Battlefield Commission and a member of the Mississippi Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. He is the author of the BGES monograph, “A Study in Warfighting, Nathan Bedford Forrest and the Battle of Brice’s Crossroads,” co-author of the “Driving Tour Guide to the Vicksburg Campaign,” and co-author of the prize-winning book Receding Tide, Vicksburg and Gettysburg, The Campaigns that Changed the Civil War. He has contributed a chapter entitled “Roads to Raymond” for Vicksburg: Mississippi Blitzkrieg, edited by Steve Woodworth, and his latest work, Vicksburg: Art of Commemoration, is an invaluable analysis of the art and architecture of the monuments at Vicksburg National Military Park.

The itinerary is in preparation. To request more more details, use our Contact Page.