Here is a note on the 56th at Vicksburg.
The 56th Infantry Regiment served in the Army of Tennessee, seeing action in Vicksburg, then in Tennessee, the Atlanta Campaign, the Carolinas Campaign, and surrendered at Bentonville, NC.
In the spring of 1862 the regiment was sent to east Tennessee, where it served in Stevenson's division in the recapture of Cumberland Gap and the advance into Kentucky. In the fall of that year it was sent to Mississippi, sharing with other regiments of the division in the battles and privations of the campaign which ended with the surrender of Vicksburg. After being exchanged it participated in the battle of Missionary Ridge and the Atlanta and Tennessee campaigns of 1864. In the spring of 1865 part of it was consolidated with the 34th and 39th under the name of the latter, and part with the 36th and 42nd as the 42nd Georgia. It served in the campaign of the Carolinas, which closed with the surrender near Goldsboro.
In the Battle of Vicksburg, on May 22nd, 1863, the 56th showed some of its mettle.
Grant attacked a three-mile section of the crescent-shaped defenses of Vicksburg with all the power he could muster. At 10 A.M. the Federals surged forward against the Confederate lines extending from Stockdale Redan on the north to Fort Garrott on the south. The charge over deep, narrow ravines that added to the man-made defenses of the city was against six strong points and a line of high breastworks protected by dirt and logs. Sherman's troops reached the top of the wall but failed to hold it. McClernand's men likewise managed to gain the barricades here and there, but to no avail. One breakthrough at Railroad Redoubt was briefly succesful, but counterattacks closed the breach. Strong Confederate defenses beat back continued charges. Later Grant regretted making the suicidal attack. Losses were heavy. Of 45,000 Federals, 502 were killed, 2550 were wounded and 147 missing for a total of 3199 casualties.
For all this intense fighting, the losses to the 56th was one man, C. Barry of Company E. wounded.
Gary D. Bray