During the summer of 1862, the Federals' first attempt to bypass Vicksburg by digging a canal across DeSoto Peninsula failed. By January, 1863, the Federals had reoccupied the Louisiana shore opposite Vicksburg. Gen. U.S. Grant ordered work on the canal resumed. The canal was to be 60 feet wide, one and one-half miles long, and deep enough to float any vessel on the river. Ground was broken on January 30. Negro work gangs assisted by fatigue details from the Union Army began the work. Later, steam pumps and dredge boats were employed. To stop the work, the Confederates emplaced several big guns on the shore opposite the canal's exit but the work progressed. On March 7, the upper dam gave way, flooding the entire peninsula. "Grant's Canal" had failed.