Monday, May 20, 2013

This day 150 years ago in Rebel Raiders’ History

-Dedicated to Civil War episodes, battles, people and ships that also appear in my game, GMT’s Rebel Raiders on the High Seas,  

May 20, 1863

            Historical Event: Siege of Vicksburg.    
            After Pemberton’s retreat from Champion’s Hill (see the May 16 blog entry), Grant pressed forward, overrunning hasty Confederate works on the Big Black River on the 17th.  Federal engineers bridged the river and three Union corps crossed on the 18th.   Grant’s attempt to carry the fortified city of Vicksburg by coup de main on the 19th was a costly failure, resulting in nearly 1,000 casualties.  On May 20 the Union dug in, beginning the formal siege. 
            To complete the siege by water, Porter sent two ironclads (Choctaw and DeKalb) and four gunboats to attack the Rebel shipyard at Yazoo City.  The garrison set fire to the yards and to the three warships under construction rather than surrender them to the Union.

            Game Connection:
            Vicksburg is one of the three keys to the Mississippi, Federal control of which is one of the requirements for a Union victory.  Grant is in the game as a card (USN #8), and Porter appears both as a naval leader marker and as a card (USN#2).  Ironclads and gunboats are vital to both sides when battling for supremacy on the Mississippi.

Below is a photograph of USS Choctaw taken off Vicksburg in 1863 (Department of the Navy, Navy Historical Center)


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