9th Regiment Connecticut Volunteers
The regiment arrived at De Soto Point, opposite Vicksburg, on June 25, 1862, and began work on the canal, but was soon hampered by supply problems, lack of drinking water, and temperatures that reached above 100 degrees. Malaria, dysentery, and heatstroke spread throughout the command, incapacitating the troops. Coupling this with the drop in the river level, the canal project was abandoned on July 24, far short of completion. Some 153 men of the 9th died within a four-month period following their arrival at the canal. While seeing no further action at Vicksburg, the unit participated in the Battle of Baton Rouge in August, and was then assigned to defenses in the New Orleans area.
Did You Know?
President Abraham Lincoln, in speaking of Vicksburg's importance, is reputed to have stated early during the Civil War, "See what a lot of land these fellows hold, of which Vicksburg is the key, the war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket."