May 1863

Federal offensives on two of the three major fronts had begun. In Virginia, Joseph Hooker’s Federals were moving to attack Robert E. Lee’s Confederates. In Mississippi, Ulysses S. Grant’s Federals were threatening Vicksburg from the south. In central Tennessee, William Rosecrans’s Federals remained relatively stationary against Braxton Bragg’s Confederates.

The Confederacy scored its most remarkable military victory, but lost one of its best commanders. Vicksburg and Port Hudson came under Federal siege. The Confederate Congress enacted several new laws, and the U.S. War Department authorized the recruitment of black troops. A prominent northern Democrat was arrested for opposing the war, while Lee embarked on a bold new strategy.

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Last Updated: 4/9/2017

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