May 21 1863. Our initial assault on Vicksburg failed to take the city. However, only Sherman’s corps was directly engaged. The other two corps failed to get into position to contribute to the assault. After meeting with my officers, we believe that if we can pressure the fortifications at Vicksburg simultaneously with all forces, the defenders will be stretched too thin to stop us. I issued an order for another attack tomorrow.
GENERAL FIELD ORDERS,
HDQRS. DEPT. OF THE TENNESSEE, Numbers -.
near Vicksburg, May 21, 1863.
A simultaneous attack will be made to morrow at 10 a. m. by all the army corps of this army. During the day army corps commanders will have examined all practicable roads over which troops can possibly pass. They will get in position all the artillery possible, and gain all the ground they can with their infantry and skirmishers. At an early hour in the morning a vigorous attack will be commenced by the artillery and skirmishers. The infantry, with the exception of reserves and skirmishers, will be placed in columns of platoons, or by a flank if the ground over which they may have to pass will not admit of a greater front, ready to move forward at the hour designated. Promptly at the hour designated all will start at quick time, with bayonets fixed, and march immediately upon the enemy without firing a gun until the outer works are carried.
The troops will go Light, carrying with them only their ammunition, canteens, and one day’s rations.
The skirmishers will advance as soon as possible after heads of columns pass them, and scale the walls of such works as may confront them.
If prosecuted with vigor, it is confidently believed this course will carry Vicksburg in a very short time, and with much less loss than would be sustained by delay. Every day’s delay enables the enemy to strengthen his defenses and increases his chance for receiving aid from outside.
By order of Major General U. S. Grant:
JNO. A. RAWLINS,
The Papers of Ulysses S Grant, Vol 8, p 245-6
O.R., I, xxiv, part 3, p 333-4