|One of the chief reasons for Union victory in the West was the close |
cooperation between General Grant and Admiral Porter.
|Porter's ships bombarding Vicksburg at night.|
|"Siege of Vicksburg"-Compare this print to the war time sketch|
of the same scene by Theodore Davis.
One target Porter directed his gunners to stop firing at was the infamous "Whistling Dick" gun. "Dick" was an 18-pounder rifle that made a distinct "whistling" sound when fired. It is credited with sinking Cincinnati. After many failed attempts to knock the gun out, Porter told his ships not to specifically target it anymore.
In addition to the massive bombardment, Naval forces assisted in keeping Confederate relief columns from coming to Vicksburg's rescue. Porter deployed Brigadier General Alfred Ellet's Mississippi Marine Brigade to help Union ground forces fend off approaching enemy units. This unique formation now under Navy control was a combined unit of infantry and cavalry with its own river transports. The unit also took control of plantations along the river where newly freed slaves produced cotton for Union forces.
Porter received a note during the siege indicating that Admiral Andrew Hull Foote died in a New York hospital on 27 June. Considered one of the Navy's finest seamen (and rabid teetotaler), he suffered an injury during the Fort Donelson campaign which he never fully recovered from. He was to take over the South Atlantic Blockading Squadron, but his injury prevented him from travelling. All the ships in the squadron lowered their flags to half mast.