The Battle of Raymond
A paved walking trail leads
through the Raymond Military
Park. Interpretive signs point
out key locations on the
battlefield.
View of Raymond Battlefield
An interpretive panel on the
hill at the southern end of the
battlefield provides a wide
view of the entire scene of the
action.
The Battle of Raymond - Raymond, Mississippi
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - The Battle of Raymond, Mississippi
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - The Battle of Raymond, Mississippi
Battle of the Vicksburg Campaign
One of the South's newest battlefield parks
can be found in Raymond, Mississippi.
Union and Confederate troops battled here
during the
Vicksburg Campaign in what
became known as the Battle of Raymond.

After forcing his way ashore near Port Gibson
and driving back Confederate troops in that
vicinity, Union General Ulysses S. Grant
turned his army northeast for the state capital
in Jackson. His plan was to drive off the
Southern forces in that vicinity, break the
Southern Railroad of Mississippi and then
close in on Vicksburg from the rear for a final
climactic battle and siege.

A portion of the Union advance followed the
route of the
historic Natchez Trace and an
interpretive panel explaining the events
leading up to the Battle of Raymond can be
found on the modern parkway.

Union to Grant, however, a battle-hardened
brigade of 4,000 Confederates was
marching on his right flank under the very
aggressive Southern commander, Brig. Gen.
John Gregg.

Gregg's men opened fire on the Federal XVII
Corps under Maj. Gen. James B. McPherson
with both small arms and artillery as the
Union force approached Fourteen Mile Creek
on the southern side of the
city of Raymond
on the morning of May 12, 1863.

Gregg thought he was facing a much smaller
force when he hurled his 4,000 men at the
12,000 oncoming Federals. The Southerners
soon realized their intelligence was faulty as
they stormed across the creek in echelon.

Despite the three to one odds, Gregg's
aggressive attack showed initial success
and forced McPherson to deploy his entire
corps into battle formation, temporarily
halting the advance of Grant's right flank
column.

Heavy fighting broke out along the slopes
and low ground as the two forces collided in
clouds of smoke and dust.

The Battle of Raymond had started at around
10 a.m. and for a little more than three hours
4,000 Confederates battled 12,000 Federals
with surprising success. The stalemate was
finally broken when McPherson massed 22
pieces of artillery along a commanding ridge
on the southern edge of the battlefield.

With powerful barrages of cannon fire falling
on the Confederate lines, the Union general
pushed more and more men into the fight
and slowly began to reverse the tide of the
battle. The power of the Union brigades
slowed and then halted Gregg's attacks.

With the Confederate attack finally stopped,
McPherson moved his own men forward at
about 1:30 p.m. Advancing in powerful lines
of battle along a front divided by the Utica
Road, he pushed Gregg's men back across
Fourteen Mile Creek.

It was a battle characterized by the "fog of
war." Heavy battle smoke and difficult ground
along the creek caused problems for both
generals and neither really understood the
precise positions of the battling units.
Raymond Military Park
A cannon stands at the entrance to Raymond
Military Park. The historic site preserves a section of
the critical Mississippi battlefield.
The size of the Union force finally decided the
battle. Overpowering weight of numbers
ultimately forced back the Confederate right
and Gregg was forced to withdraw his men
from the field. Pulling back through Raymond
he withdrew up the Jackson Road to Snake
Creek where his men rested for the night.

Union troops remained on the battlefield and
in the town of Raymond that night. Churches,
houses, a hotel and even the courthouse
were converted for use as hospitals and the
wounded of both sides were treated there.

Although the exact casualty count is disputed,
the Confederates lost around 514 men and
the Federals in the range of 442.

The Battle of Raymond was a key event in the
Vicksburg Campaign. When General Grant
learned of the victory and was informed that
Gregg's men were falling back on Jackson,
he altered his plans and moved directly on
the capital city. His objective was to defeat
the Confederate forces assembling there in
detail before Gen. Joseph E. Johnston could
assemble a sufficient army to save Vicksburg.
In the end, Grant's brilliant campaign agains
Vicksburg resulted in one of the major Union
victories of the Civil War. The key city on the
Mississippi River fell on July 4, 1863, splitting
the Confederacy in two.

The Battle of Raymond is commemorated
today at Raymond Military Park. The park is
located on Utica Road on the southern edge
of the modern city and features a paved
walking trail, interpretive panels and cannon.

A second area on the ridge from which
McPherson directed the battle is located just
off Highway 18 about 1/2 mile south of the
park. It features an interpretive panel and a
panoramic view of the battlefield.

To learn more about the Battle of Raymond,
please click here to visit the outstanding
website of the Friends of Raymond.
Union Artillery Position
Reproduction cannon mark
positions from which Union
troops shelled Confederate
forces during the Battle of
Raymond.
Texas Monument
The first monument on the
Raymond battlefield is this
memorial to Texas troops
dedicated in 2002 by the
Texas Historical Commission.
Raymond's Courthouse
The historic old courthouse in
Raymond's charming
downtown area was used as
a hospital following the Civil
War battle.
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Copyright 2012 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.

Last Update: July 11, 2012