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 (1861-1865) Civil War Battles (Eastern Theater)
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NYGiant
home  USA
Posts: 715
Joined: 2021
Belmont
11/7/2022 5:47:13 AM
On November 7, 1861, Union forces under Ulysses S. Grant overrun a Confederate camp at the Battle of Belmont, Missouri, but are forced to flee when additional Confederate troops arrive. Although Grant claimed victory, the Union gained no ground and left the Confederates in firm control of that section of the Mississippi River.


This engagement was part of Grant’s plan to capture the Confederate stronghold at Columbus, Kentucky, just across the river from Belmont, by first driving away the Confederate garrison at Belmont. General Leonidas Polk, Confederate commander at Columbus, had posted about 1,000 men around Belmont to protect both sides of the river. On the evening of November 6, Grant sailed 3,000 troops down the Mississippi River from Cairo, Illinois. They landed early on November 7, just three miles above Belmont, and proceeded to attack. Upon hearing noise from the battle, Polk sent another 2,500 troops across the river to provide relief for his beleaguered Rebels. The Yankees routed the arriving reinforcements and scattered them along the river. At that point, the Union troops began to celebrate their victory and loot the Confederate camp.

Grant had ordered a small Union force under General Charles Smith to advance from Paducah, Kentucky, which lay to the northeast, to provide a diversion and keep Polk from sending any more reinforcements to Belmont. Grant hoped that Polk would believe that Smith’s advance was the primary attack and that Belmont was the diversion. Polk did not buy it, and he dispatched additional reinforcements to Belmont. Five Confederate regiments arrived as Grant ordered his men to return to the boats. Grant himself narrowly escaped capture, but was able to get most of his force back on the river. The Yankees retreated to Cairo.

Grant lost 120 dead and 487 wounded or captured, while the Confederates lost 105 dead and 536 wounded or captured. Although he gained no ground, Grant demonstrated that, unlike many other Union generals, he was willing to mount a campaign using the resources at hand rather than calling for reinforcements. This trait served Grant well during the war, and it eventually carried him to the top of the Union army.​
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The 1st of many battles that built the career of Grant.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5837
Joined: 2004
Belmont
11/7/2022 2:27:13 PM
Missouri, Eastern Theatre ?

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes
NYGiant
home  USA
Posts: 715
Joined: 2021
Belmont
11/7/2022 4:46:03 PM
Western Theater.
Phil Andrade
London  UK
Posts: 5837
Joined: 2004
Belmont
11/8/2022 4:33:53 AM
It was a really fierce little battle, and the extraordinary closeness of the casualty figures for the opposing forces indicate how closely fought it was.

I like the story of Grant’s personal reaction to the battle. Wasn’t it here that he felt overwhelmed by fear, and then it dawned on him that his opponent was equally frightened, and he recovered his nerve and commanded with conspicuous vigour and courage ?

Regards, Phil
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"Egad, sir, I do not know whether you will die on the gallows or of the pox!" "That will depend, my Lord, on whether I embrace your principles or your mistress." Earl of Sandwich and John Wilkes

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