Battle of Milliken's Bend Facts

June 7, 1863

Facts about the Battle of Milliken's Bend, including dates, casualties, participants, who won, and more interesting facts you might not know. This fact sheet provides a quick overview of the battle and is for kids doing research and students preparing for the AP U.S. History (APUSH) exam.

Black soldiers battling at the Battle of Milliken's Bend

Black soldiers in the Union Army resorted to using their muskets as clubs in some of the fiercest hand-to-hand combat in the Civil War during the Battle of Milliken’s Bend in 1863. [Wikimedia Commons]

Quick Facts

  • Date Started: The Battle of Milliken’s Bend started on June 7, 1863.
  • Date Ended: The fighting ended on June 7, 1863.
  • Location: The Battle of Milliken’s Bend took place in Madison Parish, Louisiana (roughly 10 miles north of Vicksburg).
  • Who Won: The Union won the Battle of Milliken’s Bend.

Interesting Facts

  • In late May 1863, the Union garrison at Milliken’s Bend consisted of about 1,410 men–1,250 of whom were ex-slaves.
  • Most of the soldiers of the Milliken’s Bend garrison had been members of the Union volunteer army for only weeks or days before the Battle of Milliken’s Bend.
  • Although the Confederacy suffered far fewer casualties, the Battle of Milliken’s Bend is considered a Union victory because the Confederate forces failed in their mission to capture the federal outpost and offer relief to Rebel forces under siege at Vicksburg.
  • The Union victory at the Battle of Milliken’s Bend was small by comparison to many Civil War engagements.
  • The bravery of the black soldiers at the Battle of Milliken’s Bend did much to change perceptions about the use of African American soldiers during the Civil War.
  • At a time when casualties and desertions were depleting Southern armies, the recognition of the competence of African American soldiers triggered an influx of new black recruits, swelling the size of the Union volunteer army, and further tipping the scales in favor of a Union victory in the Civil War.


  • The Battle of Milliken’s Bend was part of the Vicksburg Campaign.

Principal Union Commanders

  • Brigadier General Elias S. Dennis,
  • Colonel Hermann Lieb

Principal Confederate Commanders

  • Major General John G. Walker
  • Brigadier General Henry McCulloch

Union Forces Engaged

  • 9th, 11th, and 13th Louisiana Infantry Regiments
  • 1st Mississippi Infantry Regiment
  • 23rd Iowa Infantry Regiment

Confederate Forces Engaged

  • 16th, and 19th Texas Infantry Regiments
  • 16th Texas Cavalry (dismounted)

Number of Union Soldiers Engaged

  • Roughly 1,500

Number of Confederate Soldiers Engaged

  • Roughly 1,500

Estimated Union Casualties

  • 652 (101 killed, 285 wounded, and 266 missing)

Estimated Confederate Casualties

  • 185 (44 killed, 131 wounded, and 10 missing)


  • Union victory


Despite its relatively small size, the Battle of Milliken’s Bend was significant because it was one of the earliest battles that pitted former slaves against Confederate troops. The bravery these raw recruits displayed, despite their limited training, did much to change perceptions about the use of African American soldiers during the war.