Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Porter Runs the Vicksburg Batteries

After determining on his plan to run the transports past the Vicksburg batteries, Grant moved quickly. The army worked on building a road over the swamps so they could march down the western bank, and it was completed by April 17th.

On the night of April 16th, David Porter was ready to try to sail his ships past the batteries. They were covered so they would be completely dark, and strict orders were given to make no noise. They would move slowly so their engines would not be heard. This plan started off working well. The boats were opposite Vicksburg before they were sighted. But, when they were discovered, the Southern guns opened on them with a tremendous fire. For ninety minutes the Confederates fired every gun they could, firing off over 500 shots. Even with all this resistance, Porter's fleet successfully ran the batteries. Most ships sustained only minor damage, though one transport was sunk. Altogether, it was a great success. Although one ship had been lost, no one had been killed and only 13 wounded. After receiving some repairs, the ships would be ready to transport Grant's men. A few more ships were sent through the next night, and, as before, all made it through except one.


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