Gunboat War At Vicksburg

A Union seaman’s nightmarish memories of shot, shell, and shoal waters in Grant’s Mississippi River campaign, 1862–63

When in April of 1861 he first learned that the Confederate States of America had forced Federal troops to evacuate Fort Sumter, seventeen-year-old Daniel F. Kemp of Buffalo, New York, immediately wanted to enlist; but not until late summer of the next year, sometime after his eighteenth birthday, did Kemp’s parents consent to his signing up for a one-year hitch in the United States Navy. That service at once sent him west to join the freshwater flotilla which in cooperation with the Army was working its way down the Mississippi River. Read more »