THE CAPITAL AREA 217 local whites and slaves. Rail lines coming out of the city were quickly destroyed. In a final act of destruction and under the orders of General Grant, Union general William T. Sherman evacuated a textile mill and set it on fire despite the pleas of its owners. Grant left Jackson on May 15 and spent the night in Clinton before moving through the western part of Hinds County near Edwards Station. The next day saw the bloodiest battle of the Vicksburg campaign at Champion Hill. Confederate forces lost nearly 4,000 men in battle and an entire division charged with covering the retreat ended up in Jackson by mistake. A brigade and a division who were depending on them to hold the bridge at the Big Black River completed the calamity when over 1,700 of their men were captured by the Union forces. Though Confederate forces were able to reoccupy Jackson as Union troops moved toward Vicksburg and found the city devastated. Confederate forces moved to occupy the Big Black River Bridge and remained there, but were unable to move further to reinforce Vicksburg and alleviate the siege that had begun. When Vicksburg surrendered on July 4, 1863, they retreated back toward Jackson, arriving on July 9. When Sherman’s troops arrived, they put the city under siege for a few days before shelling began. Confederate forces, unable to mount an effective defense, retreated through Brandon and Morton, losing scores of men to desertion along the way. Sherman, choosing not to pursue them, occupied the Governor’s Mansion and set his troops to work destroying all of the rail lines around the city. The destruction of the Capital Area in 1863 destabilized the entire state. Without an effective government structure and buildings in ruins, it became impossible to supervise financial outlays to support the military effort. The daily functions of government SPILLWAY SUNSET The Ross Barnett Reservoir was created by building an earthen dam across the Pearl River in the 1960s, flooding 33,000 acres. There are sixty-six neighborhoods built around and in the vicinity of the Ross Barnett Reservoir, nicknamed the “Rez” by locals. Picnic areas, marinas, fishing, and water sports make the Rez a popular place with around 2.5 million people visiting each year. The Ross Barnett Reservoir is the water supply for the entire city of Jackson.