Portrait of John C. Pemberton

Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton was the only commander of the Confederate Army of Vicksburg. [Wikimedia Commons]

Army of Vicksburg (CSA) Facts

December 7, 1862–July 4, 1863

Key facts about the Confederate Army of Vicksburg.

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Formation Date

  • December 7, 1862

Dissolution Date

  • July 4, 1863

Commanders

Significance

  • The Army of Vicksburg was formally named the Army of the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana
  • On October 1, 1862, the Confederate War Department issued General Orders, Number 73 naming Major General John C. Pemberton to command a newly-established military department that would become known as the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana.
  • On October 14, 1862, the Confederate War Department issued General Orders, No. 240 announcing John C. Pemberton’s promotion to lieutenant general and the addition of “the forces intended to operate in Southern Tennessee” to his command.
  • On October 14, 1862, John C. Pemberton issued General Orders, Number 1 announcing that “In compliance with instructions received from the War Department” he was assuming “command of the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, including the forces intended to operate in Southwestern Tennessee.”
  • The number of soldiers in the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana numbered fewer than 50,000 divided between Major General Earl Van Dorn’s and Major General Sterling Price’s commands.
  • Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton’s forces acquired a formal name on December 7, 1862, when he issued General Orders, Number 17 (Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana) announcing that “By direction of the Secretary of War, hereafter this army will be denominated Army of the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana, to consist of two corps, designated First and Second Corps, and will be commanded respectively by Major General Earl Van Dorn and Major General S. Price.”
  • Soon after acquiring its formal name, the Army of the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana became known informally as the Army of Vicksburg.
  • The Army of Vicksburg’s primary mission was defending Vicksburg, Mississippi, the “Gibraltar of the Mississippi.”
  • The Army of Vicksburg participated in the Battle of Grand Gulf (April 29, 1863), the Battle of Port Gibson (May 1, 1863), the Battle of Champion Hill (May 16, 1863), and the Battle of Big Black River Bridge (May 17, 1863).
  • When Major General William W. Loring’s division became separated from the Army of Vicksburg during the Battle of Champion Hill on May 16, 1863, Loring chose to move away from Vicksburg and join General Joseph Johnston’s forces in central Mississippi.
  • Major General William W. Loring’s departure from the Army of Vicksburg during the Battle of Champion Hill left Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton with only about 33,000 soldiers to defend Vicksburg.
  • Following the loss at the Big Black River Bridge, the Army of Vicksburg retreated to Vicksburg where Union Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee invested it.
  • On July 4, 1863, Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton surrendered Vicksburg, Mississippi, and the Army of Vicksburg to Union Major General Ulysses S. Grant.
  • Following the surrender of Vicksburg, Major General Ulysses S. Grant paroled the soldiers of the Army of Vicksburg.
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Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Army of Vicksburg (CSA) Facts
  • Coverage December 7, 1862–July 4, 1863
  • Author
  • Website Name American History Central
  • Access Date August 2, 2021
  • Publisher R.Squared Communications, LLC
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update April 2, 2021
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