John C. Pemberton

by Michael B. Ballard

John C. Pemberton was one of the few norther natives to serve as a general in the Confederate armies.

John Clifford Pemberton, one of just a few northern natives to serve as a general in the Confederate armies was born August 10, 1814, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, to Quaker parents, John Pemberton and Rebecca Clifford. Pemberton’s father and namesake had not taken his Quaker heritage very seriously, for he served in the War of 1812. During that time he became acquainted with Andrew Jackson, who helped secure an appointment to West Point for his son.

With solid middle-class roots that gave him a well-rounded educational background, John Clifford, with the approval of President Jackson, received his appointment to West Point in 1833. His interests were more in the humanities than the military; he excelled at drawing. He was popular among other cadets, and he accumulated a number of demerits. In 1837, he graduated twenty-seventh out of a class of fifty. Not academically qualified for one of the top graduation posts that would have gained him a place in the engineers, Pemberton, with his father’s influence, secured an assignment to the next most sought after area—the artillery, where he became an officer in the Fourth Regiment.

After graduation, Pemberton saw service in the Second Seminole War, though his military action in the field was sparse. He gained more experience in the Mexican War, where, after surviving early combat action, he managed to get a position on the staff of General William Worth. Pemberton had a knack for getting in the good graces of higher ranking officers, and staff duty seemed a better fit for his abilities than field action. He was no coward; he delivered messages in dangerous situations, but he developed a preference for staff duties. In future years, that preference would both serve him well and haunt him.

Though he loved his Philadelphia home and family, Pemberton during the pre-war period did not have a north-south mindset. His attachment to Virginia proved that he did not see the South through the lens of abolitionists; indeed he seemed to have no interest in the slavery question. His West Point classmates had come from all parts of the country, so Pemberton never demonstrated regional prejudices. The war forced his hand due to his choice of a Virginia wife whose family owned slaves. Pemberton married Martha (Pattie) Thompson, who lived in the Norfolk area on January 18, 1848; the marriage would produce 7 children, though only 5 lived to adulthood. Pattie’s parents had a prosperous shipping business and owned several slaves. However the only known direct impact of slavery on John was his future father-in-law’s gift of a female slave cook to his wife, though two white women would also help out as servants in the Pemberton household. When Pemberton traveled in the north with any of his family, he would not take the cook along, lest he stir up any potential trouble.

For the next several years, Pemberton served in Michigan and various posts in the Midwest, participating at one point in an operation to Utah, a show of force to remedy problems between Mormons and the U. S. Government. Pemberton’s pre-war army years seemed to change aspects of his military personality. He maintained a close relationship with his family, both his immediate and his parents and siblings in Philadelphia, especially his elder brother Israel. But in the service, he became a hardened officer, very unlike the carefree West Pointer he had been. He developed into a martinet and had occasional run-ins with both enlisted men and officers. One corporal tried to shoot him during the course of an argument. Pemberton once told his mother, after admitting that she was right in a certain matter: “I cannot always bear reproach though I deserve it.”[1] This trait, along with prolonged military service, followed him into the Civil War and kept him from developing close relationships with fellow officers and men he commanded.

When Civil War came in 1861, Pemberton did not rush to join the Confederate army, though he knew he had only two choices: either sit out the war or volunteer for Confederate service. He clearly understood that Pattie would not support him ignoring the war, and that she fully expected him to come to Richmond and join the army. She reminded him that Jefferson Davis had a place for him; how factual her statement was is unknown. Pemberton never expressed strong views one way or the other on the 1860 election, at least not in his letters. Though he did agonize over his decision to leave the army, and his Pennsylvania pressured him not to resign, he would never have gone against Pattie’s wishes and assumption that he would fight for the Confederacy. He may have been an army martinet, but he was putty in her hands.

Pemberton’s Pennsylvania family dreaded his decision, which, thanks to his marriage, they considered to be a foregone conclusion. Brother Israel especially begged John not to go, but it was no use. Some sources claimed Pemberton had long embraced state rights, but there is no written evidence to suggest he did. He knew he could not fight against Pattie’s homeland; his love for his wife left him no choice. He seemed to hope for a low profile position; he understood that, being a native Yankee, he would not be welcomed with open arms by southerners.

When Pemberton arrived in Richmond, Virginia Governor John Letcher nominated him to be a lieutenant colonel; Pemberton reported for duty to General Joseph Eggleston Johnston. Pemberton was one of several officers assigned to supervise an instruction camp in Virginia; his assignment took him to Norfolk. Pemberton later claimed that Johnston wanted him and supported him in a rather rapid rise in rank. There is no known reason Johnston would have had any preference for Pemberton other than the fact he was a West Pointer. Throughout the war, West Pointers looked out for each other in both armies. On June 17, Pemberton received a promotion to brigadier general, and then on June 28, he was named a colonel of artillery in the Virginia army. The early days of the war turned ranks into checkerboards due to states acting on their own before the Confederate government was formed and armies became nationalized. Aside from possible support from Johnston, Pemberton’s ability to curry favor with higher ranking officers plus the fact that he was clearly a favorite of Jefferson Davis all likely played roles in his promotions. Why Davis liked Pemberton could be traced to the prominence of Pattie’s family. There is no indication that Davis and Pemberton had met before the war. Perhaps Davis thought having a West Pointer from Pennsylvania in the Confederate army would be positive war propaganda.

Pemberton stayed in Norfolk through most of November, 1861. By then the Confederate government had moved from Montgomery, Alabama to Richmond. Pattie and the children settled in Smithfield; Pattie’s family lived close by. On November 29, Davis ordered Pemberton to Charleston, South Carolina, the birthplace of secession. Davis’ wisdom in sending a Pennsylvanian to Charleston was more than questionable. South Carolina was notoriously anti-Yankee. Things were fine, however, with General Robert E. Lee being overall commander in South Carolina. Lee could keep an eye on this Yankee who he placed in command of District Four, a coastal area south of Charleston.

Very little happened during Pemberton’s initial time in South Carolina, but on February 13, 1862, he received a promotion to major general. There is no known reason for the promotion; Pemberton had performed his tasks well, but it seemed he had not done enough to warrant the promotion. Perhaps Jefferson Davis was only setting the stage for what followed. Davis called Lee to Richmond as a special advisor due to a growing Union threat east of Richmond that ultimately resulted in the Seven Days Campaign. Upon Lee’s departure, John Pemberton on March 4 was appointed temporary commander of the Department of South Carolina and Georgia, and ten days later the appointment became permanent.;

Pemberton immediately worked on a re-organization of Lee’s departmental structure. There seemed to be no apparent reason for it, and the result was an unnecessarily complex bureaucracy. Perhaps his penchant for staff work propelled him to try his hand at manipulating the departmental system. His challenges increased when parts of Florida were added to his department. Pemberton spent most of his days bogged down in minutia, attending to details that his staff could have handled, but, in his defense, he had to break in a new staff since practically all of Lee’s aides had followed him to Virginia. Pemberton had his hands full, dealing with construction projects, operational costs, and myriad other issues, including interacting with heavy-handed South Carolina politicians. Negative events like sending troops to Mississippi during the Shiloh campaign, the fall of Fort Pulaski on the Georgia coast, and the theft of the steamer Planter by a group of slaves, combined with other problems of maintaining solid defenses around Charleston fueled feelings that Pemberton was not an effective leader. Most criticism was misdirected; Pemberton was ordered to send troops to Mississippi; Fort Pulaski was bound to fall because the Confederate War Department could not provide adequate means to defend it. Incompetent officers of the stolen ship led to its loss, and Pemberton, being departmental commander, did accept the blame for the incident, and he charged the boat’s officers with gross dereliction of duty.

The biggest chasm that developed between Pemberton and state and local leaders came when Pemberton refused to promise that he would hold Charleston at all costs. Citizens had become nervous when he imitated Lee’s actions of constricting outer lines of defense. Pemberton was not willing to say he would put the safety of women and children, and his army, above pulling out of Charleston if it became necessary. South Carolina officials asked, and Pemberton agreed, that it would be acceptable for those officials to take over the defenses, under his command, but exclusive of his orders. It was obviously a hypothetical question to demonstrate to Pemberton their determination to save the city from any potential capture. These same officials wired Richmond of their concern, and Lee wrote Pemberton that he must do more to build up the city’s defenses. Pemberton must also, wrote Lee, state his intent to fight “street by street and house by house as long as we have a foot of ground to stand upon.”[2] The message was Lee’s way of telling Pemberton that morale must be a strong consideration, and he must do what he could to insure Charleston not be surrendered. Lee likely did not mean for Pemberton to take his words as literally as Pemberton did, for those words would ring in his ears later at Vicksburg.

On June 16, Union forces attacked the community of Secessionville (so-named prior to, and having no connection to, the coming of secession). Confederate defenders prevailed, but Pemberton noticeably did not go to the area to offer any personal leadership. This was another example of his preference for office work over battlefields. Despite the victory, Pemberton’s reputation continued to decline, and the War Department finally send General Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard to replace him. Beauregard, a Louisiana native and hero of Fort Sumter and First Manassas, was a “true” Southerner in the eyes of South Carolinians, many of whom had never trusted the Yankee-born Pemberton. Jefferson Davis felt angry at the continued pressure from South Carolina politicians to remove Pemberton, so he decided to send Pemberton west to take command of one of the Confederacy’s most important departments. Davis undoubtedly gave the assignment to Pemberton to show South Carolina complainers that he had faith in the Pennsylvanian. Davis later would say that Pemberton was the best man available for the job. This was not true, and future circumstances in the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana would prove it. Within that department was the Mississippi River town of Vicksburg, one of the most important points in the Confederacy.

Special Orders Number 73, issued by the Confederate War Department on October 1, 1862, sent Major General John C. Pemberton to command the recently newly configured Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana. Pemberton was told that his main job was to defend the department, and, if circumstances ever permitted, he should retake New Orleans. An opportunity to accomplish the latter never occurred.

Prospects seemed good for Pemberton, especially after his inability to please South Carolinians. Major General Earl Van Dorn, who had recently lost a battle at Corinth, Mississippi, and Major General Mansfield Lovell (another general with what many called a Yankee background—he was born in Washington, D. C.) had failed miserably, and Mississippians were ready for a change.

On October 9, Pemberton and his staff, most of who had been with him in South Carolina and had gradually become a team, arrived in Jackson, Mississippi, the state’s capital city. He came to Mississippi with a newly bestowed rank of lieutenant general, a necessity to make him senior to Earl Van Dorn, whose promotion to major general pre-dated Pemberton’s. Pemberton and his aides found a poorly organized department and at once set to work; one of his staff noted that a thorough reorganization was essential. Led by their paper-pushing boss, who was in his climate of doing staff work, the Pemberton team soon brought about impressive, positive changes. A Jackson newspaper noted of Pemberton, “No officer ever devoted himself with greater assiduity to his duties. Late and early he is at his office, laboring incessantly.”[3] The editorial concluded that the new commander was doing as much as “mortal man can do, with the means at his disposal, to strengthen his army and promote its efficiency.” That indeed was all he could do; he could not provide adequate military leadership in the field as future events demonstrated.

The biggest threat facing Pemberton’s department was in North Mississippi, where Major General Ulysses S. Grant was leading his army down the Mississippi Central Railroad. Pemberton let Van Dorn continue commanding in the field, putting the latter in an uncomfortable position, but the situation remained intact for several weeks. Pemberton’s action was predictable; he contentedly spent most of his time in his Jackson headquarters office. He kept in close touch with Van Dorn, and made a few trips to the front as the Confederates retreated slowly southward before Grant’s advance. On one such trip Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston reviewed the troops and were impressed. This was a rare occasion not only because they saw a president and a well-known general, but also because they saw, perhaps for the first time for most of them, their own commanding general. Pemberton may have been buoyed by cheers for Davis and Johnston, but if he had been alone, it is doubtful he would have engendered any enthusiasm. His men were not impressed by his appearance or his presence on other occasions.

As the campaign progressed in North Mississippi, Grant sent troops under Major General William Tecumseh Sherman down the Mississippi to attack Vicksburg from the north side of the city. Transports would float them up the Yazoo River, which emptied into the Mississippi a few miles north of Vicksburg. Grant made the move because he had learned that one of his former generals, Major General John Alexander McClernand, had received permission from Washington to recruit an army and wage his own campaign against Vicksburg. An angry Grant was reassured by the War Department that all troops in Grant’s department would be under his command. In effect, McClernand had been misled, but Grant decided that if he captured Vicksburg before McClernand arrived, then McClernand’s gambit would be of no consequence. Therein lay the reason for Sherman’s expedition downriver. He would attack Vicksburg from the north while Grant attacked from the east.

Meanwhile, the Confederate army fought off a flanking movement by Union troops that tried to attack from the west, having crossed the Mississippi from Helena, Arkansas. Pemberton was pleased to learn that on December 12, the Union ironclad U.S.S. Cairo had been sunk by a Rebel mine on the Yazoo River north of Vicksburg. Despite these positive events, Pemberton’s troops continued falling back until they reached the Yalobusha River at the town of Grenada. There, the army dug in on the south bank. This was the last river of consequence between Grenada and Jackson; if Grant forced Pemberton’s army further south, the Union plan might work. Pemberton established field headquarters at Grenada; he could no longer sit idly at Jackson while Grant threatened the Yalobusha defenses. While there he acted on the advice of a Texas officer and ordered Van Dorn to take a force of cavalry northeast around Grant’s army. As soon as he was safely past Union forced, he would turn west and attack Holly Springs, Grant’s main supply depot on the Mississippi Central. The further Grant went south, the more tenuous his supply line had become, though it was guarded, but only by a small force scattered up and down the railroad.

Van Dorn and his cavalry attacked Holly Springs early on December 20, 1862, destroying tons of supplies and forcing Grant to give up his campaign and pull back north. The countryside simply could not supply Grant’s army with the food and grain necessary to keep going. Sherman heard about the retreat, but he was not sure if the news was accurate, so he went ahead and attacked the rugged Walnut Hills terrain north of Vicksburg. The battle was called Chickasaw Bayou because that small stream, which flowed south by southeast from and then northeast back into the Yazoo, defined the main battlefield. Pemberton, with Grant’s threat now gone, traveled to Vicksburg after sending out orders to reinforce his troops facing Sherman. Pemberton predictably did not personally go to the front, but ordered the troops arriving by rail to where they were needed along the battle line. After several days of fighting and maneuvering, December 27-31, Sherman was beaten back, and, frustrated, retreated back down the Yazoo to the Mississippi.

Thus, 1862 came to an end with Vicksburg still safe in Confederate hands. Pemberton had so far accomplished his mission to protect the city and to keep the Yankees at bay in his department. Whatever relief he may have felt would be short-lived.

During the months of January-April, 1863, Grant tried a series of schemes to get either below or above Vicksburg in order to gain a foothold on Mississippi soil within striking range of the city. He tried using connecting bayous that flowed along the Louisiana side of the river, but none of his efforts panned out. He tried blowing a hole in the Mississippi River levees well north of Vicksburg. Water poured into Mississippi through a small body of water called Yazoo Pass, which connected with the Coldwater River, which emptied into the Tallahatchie River that flowed south toward to the town of Greenwood in the delta region and merged with the Yalobusha to form the Yazoo River. Pemberton’s forces, however, had established a well-built fort named after the commanding general where the Tallahatchie flowed on a straight line north to south toward Greenwood before turning west and running into the Yalobusha. Fort Pemberton proved to be too tough a nut to crack, and Grant gave up the effort after a lengthy, frustrating campaign. Meanwhile Union navy commander David Dixon Porter led several ironclads in what was called the Steele’s Bayou campaign in an effort to get above Confederate guns on Yazoo River bluffs north of Vicksburg. Porter almost got trapped in narrow waterways, and Pemberton’s lack of aggressiveness in taking advantage of the situation allowed Porter to escape back to the Yazoo and the Mississippi.

Pemberton’s attention then was drawn to one of Grant’s most successful diversions when Union Colonel Benjamin Henry Grierson led a cavalry raid, April 17-May 2, on a path from Northeast Mississippi diagonally through the center of the state, ending safely at the Louisiana capital of Baton Rouge. Grierson kept Pemberton’s attention focused away from the Mississippi and allowed Grant and Porter to carry out a daring plan. Porter’s gunboats, guarding a fleet of transports protected by attached cotton bales, moved past the Vicksburg artillery. The Confederate guns proved to be ineffective in stopping the Yankee boats due to poor shooting angles resulting from the steep bluffs and Porter’s tactic of keeping his boats close to the Vicksburg shoreline. The barrels of the Confederate guns could not be depressed low enough to fire directly into the boats passing by. As they attempted to adjust their guns, Porter would shift his course to the other side of the river, his tactical maneuvers further complicating the task of Rebel artillerists. The first passage resulted in the loss of only one small Union vessel, and a second passage made it with all boats intact.

While Porter made life exciting for Confederates in Vicksburg, Grant marched his army south down the Louisiana side of the river, used the transports to cross his army into Mississippi, and thus began his ultimately successful inland campaign. What was going on with Pemberton during all the events?

So focused on Grierson, Pemberton failed to realize what the passage of the boats implied until it was too late. His best officer, Major General John Stevens Bowen, had warned of enemy activity across the river, and Pemberton’s tardiness in getting reinforcements to Bowen was a key mistake. Grant had hoped to cross into Mississippi at Grand Gulf, but Rebel gunners proved very effective in fighting off Porter’s fleet, so Grant changed plans, and his troops crossed at Bruinsburg, a former, now abandoned, river port west of the town of Port Gibson. Bowen abandoned Grand Gulf, and, though outnumbered 3 to 1, fought off Grant’s troops most of May 1 among the steep hills and ravines west of Port Gibson. Bowen retreated, and in the next several days, Grant pushed northeast toward Jackson. Pemberton showed no aggressive tendencies while Grant moved practically unfettered. Grant clearly had the momentum. One of his corps brushed aside a Confederate brigade at Raymond on May 12; he captured Jackson on May 14, when Joseph E. Johnston, to whom Pemberton supposedly reported, arrived in Jackson a few days earlier. He had been sent by Jefferson Davis to salvage the campaign. Johnston, however, who hated Davis, and vice versa, had no interest in putting Confederate armies at risk in a vain attempt to save Vicksburg. Johnston made no effort to save Jackson, taking the troops with him there northwest to the town of Canton.

Grant then turned west, where Pemberton had finally led three of his five Vicksburg divisions in Vicksburg east to hit Grant’s supply line. By the time his troops arrived at Edwards, a small town near the Big Black River, Grant had temporarily cut his supply line because it had become more difficult to guard the heavily laden wagons.

Pemberton’s progress was slowed by a swollen stream called Bakers Creek, and by evening of May 15, he had his army strung out on a line from near the Southern Railroad of Mississippi across to the Edwards-Raymond road. Johnston had sent Pemberton two telegrams ordering Pemberton to unite with Johnston at Clinton, a few miles west of Jackson. Johnston, however, was still in Canton. Pemberton decided to ignore the first message, for he feared his turning north would open the way for Grant into Vicksburg. Then he chose to try to obey the second order, a copy of which had been intercepted by a Union spy, and he was trying to shift his army into reverse when Grant’s advance attacked on May 16 along high ground called Champion Hill. Though Union campfires had been visible during the night, Pemberton made no battle plans. He obviously, and strangely, thought he could reach Johnston without a fight.

Champion Hill would be the only battle in which John C. Pemberton commanded an army. His previous years of military experience having been focused on office work, Pemberton had no combat leadership experience to draw from. Most historians agree that the battle at Champion Hill was the key conflict of Grant’s inland campaign. If Grant had lost, he would have been faced with getting his three corps back to the Mississippi, and he would probably have been removed from command. But he had the advantage of fighting an army led by a general who in effect was a rookie. Pemberton did his best, but he had never established a close relationship with his commanders. Bowen did not like him; Major General William Wing Loring detested him, and the other division commander Major General Carter Littlepage Stevenson, and led his men to Mississippi from Braxton Bragg’s army in Tennessee. He and Pemberton had not had time to get to know each other, and Stevenson’s division performed poorly at Champion Hill. Some officers openly laughed at Pemberton’s orders. The men in Pemberton’s army had never had the opportunity to develop any kind of relationship with him, so, unlike the popular Grant, Pemberton’s presence on the battlefield did not encourage his soldiers.

During the fighting, Stevenson’s division on the Confederate left practically fell apart; Bowen, came to the rescue with a brilliant charge that almost broke Grant’s line, but lack of reinforcements forced him to retreat. Loring refused to move from where he was on the Confederate right. After severe fighting, Pemberton had no choice but to order a retreat. Bowen’s and Stevenson’s divisions fell back to the Big Black River. Loring got cut off and on a roundabout journey to the east and then north and merged his division with forces under Joe Johnston’s command. Pemberton did not know of Loring’s situation, so he held his other two divisions at the Big Black to wait for Loring. However, on May 17, John McClernand’s corps routed Bowen’s worn out troops at the Big Black, and Pemberton’s disheartened army fell back into Vicksburg where Pemberton’s other two divisions were entrenched. Johnston ordered Pemberton to evacuate Vicksburg rather than risk losing his army.

Pemberton’s lack of combat leadership experience combined with his failure to develop any measure of comradery with his officers and confidence in his leadership by his men had cost him dearly. As he sadly rode toward Vicksburg, he said to one of his officers that his career had ended in “disaster and disgrace.” He knew it was very likely he would not get a chance to redeem himself. He understood all too well that Johnston, who had warned him not to retreat into Vicksburg, would likely be of little help in reversing the fortunes of his army.

Pemberton rejected the very idea of giving Vicksburg to Grant. Jefferson Davis, to whom Pemberton habitually reported over Johnston’s head, had ordered Pemberton to hold Vicksburg at all costs. Pemberton intended to do just that; one must wonder if Lee’s words to him in South Carolina rang in his ears. Pemberton published an announcement to his troops that said in effect that he would never give up Vicksburg as long as there were any soldiers left to defend it. Pemberton never intended to follow the letter of that position any more than Lee had meant for him to fight until the last man to hold Charleston. Pemberton, feeling isolated by the lack of trust in him by his officers and his men, used words intended to reassure everyone, including Vicksburg civilians, that he would prove his devotion to the Confederacy no matter what the cost.

On May 19 and again on May 22, Grant ordered his army to assault the considerable defenses that formed a semicircle around the city, ranging from north of the town overlooking the Mississippi, around to the northeast, east, southeast, and south of the town. Both of Grant’s assaults failed, and his army suffered heavy losses. Despite the string of defeats, Pemberton’s men had plenty of fight and determination left. On May 23, Grant decided to besiege Vicksburg. Pemberton would hold on until July 4 before finally giving up hope that Johnston would do anything to assist in any escape attempt. He was right about that.

After Pemberton and his soldiers had been paroled, he led a march across central Mississippi to Enterprise and ultimately to Demopolis, Alabama. Along the way, he stopped and reported to Johnston, who warmly greeted him, but Pemberton reacted coldly, saluted, and turned and walked out. He and Johnston would spend many post-war years blaming each other for the loss of Vicksburg.

Jefferson Davis, despite the outcries in the South accusing Pemberton of being a traitor, told his beleaguered general that he understood it was a no-win situation. If Pemberton had not tried to save Vicksburg, he would have been denounced, and the fact that he did, but failed, brought the same reaction. Davis tried to find a command for Pemberton in the Confederate Army of Tennessee, but soldiers in that army threatened to leave the army if the Yankee assumed a position with them. Pemberton ultimately resigned his lieutenant general rank and requested and received the rank of lieutenant colonel of artillery. He spent the remainder of the war supervising artillery used to defend Richmond. His choice of remaining in the army and serving the Confederacy proved his loyalty, though his critics were not silenced.

After the war ended, Pemberton tried farming in Virginia, a task for which he was totally unsuited. Pemberton did not live out his days on his farm in Virginia. He and Pattie moved to Philadelphia. His family held no grudges and welcomed him and Pattie and their children. He died in his summer home in the suburb of Penllyn on July 13, 1881. He and Pattie are buried with other Pemberton family members in Laurel Hill Cemetery in Philadelphia.

John Pemberton might have made a more positive contribution to the Confederate cause if he had been give duties suitable to his personality and experience. Yet even if he had had more experience leading armies in the field, he still would have faced the same dilemma in defending Vicksburg. Being caught in the middle between the demands of Jefferson Davis and an indifferent Joseph Johnston proved to be fatal to him and the city he sought to save.

John Clifford Pemberton

  • [1] Michael B. Ballard, Pemberton: A Biography (Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1991), 33.
  • [2] Robert E. Lee to John C. Pemberton, May 29, 1862, United States War Department, War of the Rebellion:  Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies, 128 vols. (Washington D.C.:  Government Printing Office, 1880-1901), Series I, volume 14, p. 524. [3] Daily Mississippian, November 28 (29), 1862.

If you can read only one book:

Ballard, Michael B. Pemberton: A Biography. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 1991.


  • Ballard, Michael B. Vicksburg: The Campaign that Opened the Mississippi. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2004.

  • Pemberton, John C. (Pemberton’s grandson). Pemberton: Defender of Vicksburg. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1942.

  • Smith, David. Compelled to Appear in Print: The Vicksburg Manuscript of General John C. Pemberton. Villa, KY: Ironclad Publishing, 1999.


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