In March, 1863, the 20th Michigan
moved to Kentucky where they skirmished and battled with
Confederates near the Cumberland River.
In June, 1863, the 20th Michigan was transferred to reinforce General Grant’s army and naval forces besieging Vicksburg, Mississippi.
General Grant’s army, along with naval units on the Mississippi River, had started the siege of Vicksburg. Mississippi in May, 1863.
In June the IXth Corps, which included the 20th Michigan, had joined as reinforcement to General Grant’s army.
Corps served under General Sherman and was positioned
north and east of Vicksburg to protect General Grant’s flank.
|Regiment symbol (20MI)
north of Vicksburg above "Sherman" is the
approximate position the 20th Michigan during the
siege of Vicksburg until its surrender on July 4,
Regiment symbol (20MI) north of Jackson, Mississippi is the approximate position of the 20th Michigan during the assault and recapture of Jackson, Mississippi by July 16, 1863.
After Vicksburg surrendered on July 4, 1863, the IXth Corps with the 20th Michigan moved east to Jackson, Mississippi. For the second time in this campaign, Jackson was placed under siege.
|Contemporary map with
orange regiment symbol (20MI)
at the approximate location of the 20th Michigan during
the July, 1863 campaign to recapture Jackson, Mississippi.
|After the fall of Vicksburg, the 20th Michigan participated in another assault to recapture Jackson, Mississippi. The State Capitol Building survived the burning of the city.|
|Today the Old Capitol is the Mississippi the State Historical Museum.|
Campaign Sites in 2016
In August 1863, the 20th Michigan returned to Kentucky.
In October, the 20th Michigan crossed through the Cumberland Gap to eastern Tennessee.
Many people in eastern Tennessee were strongly pro-Union. One of President Lincoln’s priorities was to secure the area and provide them protection from the Confederates.
In September 1863, after the Confederate victory at Chickamauga, Georgia, the main Union army retreated to Chattanooga, Tennessee. The Confederates cut them off and placed Chattanooga under siege.
At the same time, a large Confederate force moved into eastern Tennessee.
The Union forces, including the 20th Michigan, withdrew into defensive positions in Knoxville, Tennessee.
By November 25, 1863, reinforcements under General Grant relieved the siege of Chattanooga. That freed Union forces to go join those now cut off in Knoxville.
Before the Union reinforcements could arrive, the Confederates assaulted what they hoped was the weakest point of Knoxville’s defenses, Fort Sanders on the far northwest corner of Knoxville.
|1863 map of Knoxville with both Fort Sanders and the 20th Michigan.|
|Fort Sanders with position of the 20th Michigan and the direction of the main Confederate attack.|
Before the attack, the Union soldiers soaked the sloped dirt walls of Fort Sanders. After the water froze the icy slope would be even more difficult for the Confederates to scale.
On November 29, 1863, the Confederates attacked and
failed in their attempt to take Fort Sanders. The 20th
Michigan suffered 19 casualties, with two killed, eight
wounded, and nine captured
November 29, 1863 Confederate assault on Fort Sanders, Knoxville, Tennessee.
Drawing illustrates almost
the exact position of the 20th Michigan.
General Sherman’s relief force approaching from Chattanooga, the
Confederates gave up and withdrew.
The 20th Michigan
remained in and around Knoxville until March 1863, when it was
ordered back to Virginia.
|INDEX: Anson Croman and the American Civil War|
Lovetere, Musbach, & Robinson Families History
All material not in the public domain © 2004 - 2018 Leonard H. Cizewski
Last Major Update; November 27, 2013
Last Minor Revision: July 13, 2018
Posted: May 24, 2004