Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois on July 3, 1963 · Page 13
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Alton Evening Telegraph from Alton, Illinois · Page 13

Alton, Illinois
Issue Date:
Wednesday, July 3, 1963
Page 13
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«,», - r f -, • Section 2 ALTON EVENING TELEGRAPH t , *• Classified Established JaHuai-y 15,1830. ALTON, ILL., WfiDNESt>A¥, JULY 3,1963 7c Per Copy Member of The Associated Fall of Vicksbur Marked This Was General Grant's July 4th Present to the Union^Victory! B.V .IAMBS F. sunn GALENA, 111. (AP) - One hundred years ago a former Qn- lena slorekeeper named Ulysses S. Grant gnve n wnr-weaHed Union a Fourth of July worth celebrating. He gave it Vlcksburg. The Army of the Tennessee, which fought the campaign from April 30 to July 4, Included 74 Illinois commands, more than from any other stale. Vicksburg, 200 miles south of Memphis, Tenn., was In early 1803 the key Confederate position on the east hank of the Mississippi River. Its strategic value was clear: lake the fortress and you split the Confederacy. After several attempts to take the bnsllon failed, Grnnt devised a difficult and daring new plan. He would move his army down the marshy, stream-laced western bank of the river, cross below Vicksburg and march up Hie eastern bank. Strategy The move involved placing his army between powerful Confederate forces and the Union base of operations in Tennessee. To keep Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton from massing his Confederate troops at any one point, Grant chose a former Illinois music teacher for a diversion. Benjamin Grierson In the 1850s taught and composed music in Jacksonville, 111. Later he moved to Meredosia, Morgan County, where he went into the grain and mercantile business. Grant gave Grierson the job of staging a raid down the middle o£ Mississippi, ending in Baton Rouge, La., and there joining Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks. Grierson had 1,700 cavalry including the Glh and 7th Illinois regiments. For 600 miles and from April 17 to May 2. Grierson and his men disrupted communications and caused general confusion behind Confederate lines. He inflicted 100 enemy casualties, captured 500 prisoners and destroyed 3,000 weapons, while having only 10 Union casualties. Needed Boats To ferry his troops across the wide Mississippi, .Grant needed oats below Vicksburg.. On April 16, Adm. David D. Porter ran his gunboats past the Vicksburg gun batteries. A few days later, transports with vital supplies made the same route with loss • of one ship. Many of the volunteer crews on those craft were Southern Illinois soldiers. . On April 30, the army began crossing the river about 35 miles south of Vicksburg. The second regiment across was the 99th Illinois Infantry, men from Pike County., .-,• • ; • . .; The .next day, a few miles to the east at Port Gibson, Miss., leading Union elements prepared to meet the Rebels.. On the left flank, the 3rd Illinois Infantry deployed its skirmish line. Flying prominently was their regimental flag—a gift from the Chicago public schools. Pushing aside the weak Confederate forces at Port Gibson, the army moved on, Grant still was outnumbered. He knew that Maj. Gen. J. E. Johnston, the victor at Bull Run, was gathering in reinforcements at Jackson, 45 miles east of Vicksburg. So the Union's master general decided to smash Johnston at Jackson and then crush Pemberton. Grant moved most of his army toward Jackson. On May 12, the 20th Illinois Infantry, organized in Joliet, distinguished,itself in a skirmich 11 miles southwest of Jackson — at Raymond. The regiment helped capture six Confederate artillery pieces and took a large number of prisoners. Lt. Col. Evan Richards of Mount Pleasant died leading his regiment. Only Railroad Taking Jackson, Grant now sat across the only railroad into Vicksburg from the East. Grant turned his attention to Pemberton. The two armies met about midway between Vicksburg and Jackson at a promontory called Champion's Hill. Grant now had a numerical advantage, He could throw 29,000 men against Pernberton's 22,000. The burden of battle fell on the 17th Corps' of Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson, The most blood- jed of McPherson's Regiments that day was th? 93rd Illinois Infantry, men from Stephenson, Bureau, Rock Island : and White* side counties, The Confederates held tjhe rjdge. Led by Col, Holden Putnam ol few paces to an inner or second line of breastwork, where . . . . cannon belched forth their death- dealing missiles . . .The line waves, staggers, then falls back into tho crater. Hand Id Hum) "The enemy charges on us, but we repel them on the west bank, and hand to hand conflict rages for hours. . . ." Gen Logan acclaimed "By God, they are killing my bravest men in thai hole!" After 47 days of siege Pern her- ton gave up. On July 4, 1863, the 45lh Illinois led elements of the Army of the Tennessee nlo Vicksburg. The city's capture and the bagging of Pemberlon's army splil the Confederacy down the middle like an overripe banana. Of 10,142 Union casualties, including soldiers captured, 2,417 were from Illinois. Estimated Confederate losses included 24,491 surrendered plus 9,091 casualties. As campaigns go, it was a cheap victory—c heap only in terms of relative losses. THE ONLY TWO BOOKS A BRIDE NEEDS TO START HER NEW LIFE 'Ethan Allen (this is for the whole house . . . you get it from us for FREE) BONN — A promise has been given NATO that the British Army of the Rhine will be up to strength by the end of next year. During the Centennial celebration of the Civil War, re-enactments of famous battles are taking place all over the country. Here, taking a break during one of the scenes, a young Yankee, left, confers with two Confederate generals on battle plans. The seige of Vicksburg, considered the turning point in the war, ended just 100 years ago Thursday. Freeport, the 99th attacked up the hill. The regiment held the exposed left flank of the Union position under heavy smallarms fire. Then artillery scorched the ground held by;the 99th. Nearly one-third of the regiment' fell victim to the murderous fire, including Col. Putnam. Kctrcat McPherson sent Logan's division into the fray on the right of the 93rd's position and the congressman-general managed to get a brigade into the Confederate rear. At day's end, the Confederates had enough and they began their retreat into Vicksburg. For some, the ordeal of Champion's Hill did not end with the firing. , The words of 1st Sgt. Wilburg Crummer of .Plesant Valley (45th Illinois) tell >the story: . "All around us lay the dead and the' dying, amid the groans and cries of the wounded. . . They lay, the blue and the gray intermingled; the same rich, young American blood flowing out in little rivulets of crimson; each tlrnking he was in the right. . . West' of Champion's Hill, Pemberton fought a rear-guard action at the Big Black River. A notable in that action was 250- pound Brig 1 Gen. Michael Lawler, a Gallatin County farmer. Lawler was a standout personality in more ways than one. 'A Catholic, he always prayed before going into combat. And he was so stout he had to carry his sword with the strap .hanging from his shoulder. But, in the words of Grant, "When it comes to just plain hard fighting I would rather trust old Mike Lawler than any of them." Led by the sword-swinging leader, Union troops routed the Confederates from the river line. King of Men Grant now threw a ring of men and guns around Pemberton's army in Vicksburg. On May 19, a general assault against the long- prepared Confederate works was repulsed. Grant sent his troops against the Confederate works, again on May 22. The Union soldiers were beaten back with heavy losses. Losses wouldn't have been as heavy that day except for a blunder of Brig. Gen; John A. Me- demand of Springfield. McClernand, a congressman and corps commander, with wildly enthusiastic reports of successes on his front, convinced Grant to extend the allout attack Jn his support. But actually. Mc- Clernand had no chance to gain a foothold in the fortress, Shortly after,' thls-'and a pileup of grievances led to the sacking of McClernand by Grant. The campaign settled dow^i to a siege. If Grant coujd,n't, take Vicksburg by assault, he would starve tho garrison arid, pound it into submission. • Nothing spectacular happened (happened alter the explosion; ALTON-WOOD RIVER AREA'S LARGEST COLOR TV DEALER Mpw showing 8 models oi (At new 1964 RCA VICTOR COLOR TV SPARKS TV & MUSIC Solti and Sirvls• fit. }11, Juit off Bt. 159, Wpod B4v» until June 25 when the 45th Illinois Infantry planted an explosive charge under a Confederate fort. The ex-miners in the regiment had been recruited in the Galena area and helped give the unit its name—"Lead Mine Regiment." Sgt. Crummer described what "The enemy had corne from behind the big pile of earth thrown out by the explosion and as we went into the crater, they met us with a terrible volley of musketry. But on the boys went, up and over the embankment with a cheer, the enemy falling back a plugged Get the wa> out ° f y° ur ears with KERID® Drops! THRIFTY DRUfi (this !s for the kitchen . . . you get it in a book store for $4.50) Early American Not for You? BE SURE TO VISIT OUR BEAUTIFUL 2ND FLOOR We Haye a Comprehensive Collection of: • CONTEMPORARY • ITALIAN PROVINCIAL • DINETTES • FRENCH PROVINCIAL 4TH & PI ASA ALTON HO 5-7777 SIMMONS & SERTA BEDDING • CHILDREN'S FURNITURE PARK FREE Have Your Park 'n Shop Tickets Stamped Here! "Get the Fastest Suntan with MAXIMUM PROTECTION! 1 says pins the tonus of A ^K^ftnnii^iw. with this Blue-chip offering You get both at Piasa, First of all, your savings are fully and safely insured, up to $10,000. So you get the benefit of no-risk saving. 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