On June 6, 1863, Union Colonel Hermann Lieb along with the two companies of the 10th Illinois Cavalry and the African Brigade moved towards Richmond, Louisiana just opposite of Vicksburg. Lieb then clashed with Confederate soldiers near the Tallulah railroad depot but was able to push them back. Believing that there was still more enemy troops, Lieb set up a battle line at Milliken's Bend near the river prepared to fight the Confederates. Fortunately for Lieb, two gunboats arrived to assist. In the early hours of the next morning Major General John Walker started attacking the left flank of Lieb's position. Walker's men were successful in the maneuver and forced the Union to retreat to the riverbank. The two gunboats, USS Choctaw and USS Lexington, started to fire on the Confederates. The Rebels still pushed on but failed to encircle the Union force. The fighting kept going until around midday when the Confederates retreated. While the Confederates were falling back the Union soldiers and gunboats continued to fire on them. Around 2,500 soldiers engaged in the Battle of Milliken's Bend. Although it was a Union victory, they suffered 652 casualties compared to the Confederate's 185.
Davis' attempt to relieve the Siege of Vicksburg was a failure. This battle was not only a Union victory but a victory for African American troops in the Union army. Grant applauded their fierce battle mentality and courage to win the battle. This battle was the catalyst for more African American troops to join the Union and fight in the war. This battle was mostly forgotten because of much greater following battles such as Vicksburg and Gettysburg but there is a tiny monument in Madison Parrish, Louisiana that explains what happened on June 7, 1863.