• View from Battery DeGolyer

    Vicksburg

    National Military Park Mississippi

Tour Stop 6 - Thayer's Approach

Thayer's Approach

Thayer's Approach

NPS Photo

The Union soldiers along this section of the line were commanded by Brigadier General John M. Thayer, and had taken part in the unsuccessful assaults on 19 May and 22 May. During those attacks, Thayer's men advanced up the hill only to be driven back by Confederates positioned at the top. After the second repulse, the Federals began digging a six-foot-deep approach trench.
 
Tunnel at Thayer's Approach

Tunnel at Thayer's Approach

NPS Photo

To prevent Thayer's men from exposure to Confederate fire, a short tunnel was excavated through the ridgeline protecting the Union forces. Once the Federals broke through the ridge, under cover of darkness, they were able to begin digging the approach trench toward the Southern position.
 
Tunnel at Thayer's Approach

Beginning of approach trench at Thayer's Approach

NPS Photo

Once close enough to the Confederate works atop the hill, the intent was to start a mine under the defensive position, similar to the one being dug under the Third Louisiana Redan. The men digging the approach trench were protected from Confederate fire by bundles of cane called fascines, which served as a roof over the trench. Thayer's soldiers had nearly completed the mine when Vicksburg surrendered.
 
Aerial view of Thayer's Approach
Aerial view of Thayer's Approach
 

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

In 1903, Massachusetts was the first state to erect a memorial to its soldiers who served during the Vicksburg campaign on the grounds of Vicksburg National Military Park.