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Loring's Division at Fort Pemberton
Major General William Loring
Brigadier General Lloyd Tilghman
Brigadier General Winfield S. Featherston
Brigadier General John C. Moore
The following cavalry regiments that fought at Fort Pemberton were also with General Forrest at the Battle of Fort Pillow: Willis Texas Cavalry and 2nd Missouri Cavalry. Waul's Texas Legion included four companies of cavalry. Sometime after the Battle of Fort Pemberton, the cavalry was split away and named Willis Texas Cavalry Regiment.
(See Confederate Casualties of Fort Pillow.)
Source: "The Vicksburg Campaign" by Edwin Bearss
General William W. Loring
When the war began, William Loring was the youngest Colonel in the US Army. A veteran of the Seminole War and the Mexican War, he lost his arm at the battle of Mexico City.
At the Battle of Fort Pemberton, General Loring commanded the 5,000 Confederate infantry and artillery. During the battle, he was heard urging his trops with:
"Give them Blizzards!"
"Give them Blizzards!"
This earned him the nickname "Old Blizzards".
He was wounded at the Battle of Ezra Church on July 28, 1864. He returned to the Hood's Army to fight in the Battles of Franklin and Nashville.
After the war, Loring served for nine years in the Egyptian army.
A Brief History of Fort Pemberton
Location: Greenwood, MS, at junction of U.S Hiways 82 and 49E.In the 1863 Vicksburg Campaign, General Grant tried several attacks on the city on the bluff. One plan was to send troops on transports down the Tallahatchie and Yazoo Rivers into the back door instead of down the heavily defended Mississippi River. He cut the Mississippi River levee in February which flooded the several bayous between the Mississippi and Tallahatchie Rivers, making a navigable connection. Twenty-two transports (with 5000 troops), two ironclads, two rams and six light draft gunboats made up the first expedition, which was later reinforced with another brigade and additional vessels. It took several weeks to make the 200-mile trip as the bayous were narrow and tortuous. The flooded rivers allowed the gunboats to clear the river bottoms but it also caused many to loose their smokestacks and upper structure when they contacted the low-hanging trees.
Appraised of the Federal plans the Confederate General John C. Pemberton ordered a fort to be constructed to block the enemy forces. The engineers selected a location where the Tallahatchie makes an abrupt easterly turn and, after joining with the Yazoo River, it loops back within a few hundred yards of the Tallahatchie. This allowed room for only two gunboats at a time to approach the Confederates works and attack with only their forward guns. The fort was hastily built of cotton bales covered with earth, and named Fort Pemberton. It had but a few light guns, and a very accurate 8-inch rifle. The fort was manned by 1500 men under command of Brig. Gen. W.W. Loring. The flooded the area limited any infantry movement by land. To further impede the enemy's advance down the Yazoo River, the steamship "Star of the West" was loaded with cotton bales and sunk in the channel. This "Star of the West" was one of the Federal mechant ships captured at Galveston, Texas. The Federal Flotilla arrived at Fort Pemberton on March 11th, and the two ironclads attacked at 1000 yards, but both were damaged after several attempts to reduce the fort. The Confederate gunners placed one well-aimed shot through the forward gun port of the first ironclad. The Federal fleet retired to the Mississippi. Grant's attempt to reach Vicksburg by the Tallahatachie-Yazoo route had failed.
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