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Vicksburg: The Campaign That Opened the Mississippi
Confederate troops surrendered Vicksburg on July 4, 1863 a crucial port and rail depot for the South was lost

Vicksburg
Civil War Mississippi

American Civil War
May 18-July 4, 1863



Vicksburg: 47 Days of Siege
First-hand accounts of life during the 47 days Vicksburg was under siege. Ranging from housewives to soliders on both sides, a good idea of what life was like, from ways to pass the time to what to eat, in and around Vicksburg.

In May and June of 1863, Major General Ulysses S. Grant's armies converged on Vicksburg, investing the city and entrapping a Confederate army under Lieutenant General John Pemberton.

On July 4, Vicksburg surrendered after prolonged siege operations. This was the culmination of one of the most brilliant military campaigns of the war.

With the loss of Pemberton's army and this vital stronghold on the Mississippi, the Confederacy was effectively split in half.

Grant's successes in the West boosted his reputation, leading ultimately to his appointment as General-in-Chief of the Union armies.

Result(s): Union victory

Location: Warren County

Campaign: Grant's Operations against Vicksburg (1863) next battle in campaign    previous battle in campaign

Date(s): May 18-July 4, 1863

Principal Commanders: Major General Ulysses S. Grant [US]; Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton [CS]

Forces Engaged: Army of the Tennessee [US]; Army of Vicksburg [CS]

Estimated Casualties: 35,825 total (US 4,550; CS 31,275)



Vicksburg Expedition Guide
Annimated movie that details Grants Mississippi campaign which concluded with the seige of Vicksburg. A great background on the importance of this site in the entire war, as well as battles leading up to the Vicksburgh seige.
Click to enlarge these Travelbrains screenshots from the Multi-Media Battle detail
Vicksburg Seige Map

Guide to the Vicksburg Campaign U.S. Army War College Guides to Civil War Battles
Army War College Examines an entire campaign, looking at many interlinked battles and joint Army-Navy operations as they played out over seven months and thousands of square miles

Vicksburg Battle Map

Click to enlarge
Vicksburg Civil War Battle Map


Ninety-Eight Days: A Geographer's View of the Vicksburg Campaign
The geology of the Mississippi river, and how the landcape along the river determined the course of events and logistical realities that the armies had to contend with, such as the pounds per square inch of a cassion wheel as it contacts the earth

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Civil War Firearms

Standard Catalog of
Civil War Firearms

Over 700 photographs and a rarity scale for each gun, this comprehensive guide to the thousands of weapons used by Billy Yank and Johnny Reb will be indispensable for historians and collectors.
Civil War Map of The Siege of Vicksburg, Miss, c.1863
Civil War Map of The Siege of Vicksburg, Miss, c.1863
45 in. x 48 in. $169.99
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Framed



The Beleaguered City: The Vicksburg Campaign, December 1862-July 1863
Shelby Foote explains all engagements in and around Vicksburg. Every event is descriptively written covering naval strategies along the Mississippi, Yazoo and other rivers which were of importance to naval affairs of each opposing side



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Champion Hill
Decisive Battle for Vicksburg

The Battle of Champion Hill was the decisive land engagement of the Vicksburg Campaign. The May 16, 1863, fighting took place just 20 miles east of the river city, where the advance of Gen. Ulysses S. Grant's Federal army attacked Gen. John C. Pemberton's hastily gathered Confederates

Excerpt:  "Historical Times Encyclopedia of the Civil War" edited by Patricia L. Faust

From mid-Oct. 1862, Major General Ulysses S. Grant made several attempts to take Vicksburg. Following failures in the first attempts, the Battle of Chickasaw Bluffs, the Yazoo Pass Expedition, and Steele's Bayou Expedition, in the spring of 1863 he prepared to cross his troops from the west bank of the Mississippi River to a point south of Vicksburg and drive against the city from the south and east. Commanding Confederate batteries at Port Hudson, La., farther south prevented the transportation of waterborne supply and any communication from Union forces in Baton Rouge and New Orleans. Naval support for his campaign would have to come from Rear Admiral David D. Porter's fleet north of Vicksburg. Running past the powerful Vicksburg batteries, Porter's vessels, once south of the city, could ferry Federals to the east bank. There infantry would face 2 Confederate forces, one under Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton at Vicksburg and another around Jackson, Mississippi, soon to be commanded by General Joseph E. Johnston.
        In Jan. 1863 Grant organized his force into the XI Corps under Major General John A. McClernand, the XV Corps under Major General William T. Sherman, the XVI Corps under Major General Stephen A. Hurlbut, and the XVII Corps under Major General James B. McPherson. Simultaneous with Grant's Vicksburg offensive, Major General Nathaniel P. Banks began his maneuvering along the Red River in Louisiana. Hurlbut's corps was subsequently transferred to New Orleans. With his 3 remaining corps, Grant began operations late in March. On the 29th and 30th McClernand's and McPherson's men, at Milliken's Bend and Lake Providence, northwest of Vicksburg, began working their way south, building a military road to New Carthage, La., preparatory to a move south to Hard Times, La., a village opposite Bruinsburg, Miss.
        On the night of 16 Apr., at Grant's request, Porter took 1 2 vessels south past the Vicksburg batteries, losing 1 to Confederate fire. On 17 Apr. Grierson's Raid began. Led by Brigadier General Benjamin H. Grierson, Federal cavalry left La Grange, Tenn., for 16 days riding through central Mississippi to Baton Rouge, La., pulling away large units from Vicksburg's defense to pursue them. Porter, encouraged by light losses on his first try, ran a large supply flotilla past the Vicksburg batteries the night of 22 Apr. Sherman's troops, many at work on a canal project at Duckport, abandoned this work, joined in a last action along the Yazoo River, northeast of Vicksburg, and 29-30 Apr. made a demonstration against Confederate works at Haynes' Bluff and Drumgould's Bluffs, diverting more of Pemberton's force. Also on 29 Apr., as McClernand's and McPherson's troops gathered near Hard Times, Porter's fleet assailed Confederate batteries at Grand Gulf, 33 mi. southwest of Vicksburg, testing the Grand Gulf area as a landing site for Union troops. Though Porter found the guns there too strong, he had succeeded in further diverting Pemberton in Vicksburg.
        Grant had originally determined that Rodney, Miss., would be the starting point of his invasion, but took the advice of a local slave and picked Bruinsburg instead. McClernand's and McPherson's corps were ferried east across the Mississippi from Hard Times 30 Apr. That day Grant sent word north for Sherman to follow McPherson's route south and join him.
        On I May the Federal invasion force engaged the Confederates in the Battle of Port Gibson. Pemberton had just over 40,000 men assigned to the Vicksburg region. Since they were scattered throughout the area, chasing Grierson and wary of Sherman, few of them could be brought to bear against Grant on short notice. Defeated at Port Gibson, Pemberton's troops moved north. Grant, to Pemberton's confusion, pushed northeast. Sherman's corps joined him 8 May, and 12 May the engagement at Raymond was fought. Johnston took personal command of Confederates at Jackson, 15 mi northeast of Raymond, 13 May. On 14 May Federals quickly won an engagement at Jackson, cut off Johnston from Pemberton, and ensured the latter's isolation for the rest of the campaign. In 2 weeks Grant's force had come well over 130 mi. northeast from their Bruinsburg landing site.
        Ordering Sherman to destroy Jackson's heavy industry and rail facilities, Grant turned west, roughly following the Southern Mississippi Railroad to Bolton, and 16 May fought the climactic combat of his field campaign, the Battle Of Champion's Hill. With the largest force he had yet gathered to oppose Grant, Pemberton nevertheless took a beating there and pulled his army into the defenses of Vicksburg. In a delaying battle at Big Black River Bridge, 17 May, Confederates crossed the Big Black, destroying their river crossings behind them. Undeterred, Federals threw up their own bridges and continued pursuit the next day.
        Approaching from the east and northeast, McClernand's, McPherson's, and Sherman's corps neared the Vicksburg defenses 1 8 May, Sherman's veering north to take the hills overlooking the Yazoo River. Possession of these heights assured Grant's reinforcement and supply from the North. The next day Federals made the failed first assault on Vicksburg. The second assault, 22 May, was a disaster for Union forces, showed the strength of the miles of Confederate works arching east around the city, and convinced Grant that Pemberton could only be defeated in a protracted siege.
        The siege of Vicksburg began with the repulse of the 22 May assault and lasted until 4 July 1 863. As the siege progressed, Pemberton's 20,000-man garrison was reduced by disease and starvation, and the city's residents were forced to seek the refuge of caves and bombproofs in the surrounding hillsides, Hunger and daily bombardments by Grant's forces and Porter's gunboats compelled Pemberton to ask for surrender terms 3 July. Grant offered none, but on the garrison's capitulation immediately paroled the bulk of the force. Many of these same men would later oppose him at Chattanooga.
        Pemberton's surrender ended the Vicksburg Campaign. But during the siege, to the east Johnston had raised a 31,000 man force in the Jackson area. On 4 July, as Confederates were being paroled, Sherman moved his force to oppose this new threat. Sherman's march would result in the Siege of Jackson.

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Vicksburg Mississippi Campaign
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  • 25 Union and 25 Confederate Soldier Figures, 18 Horses, 10 Cannon
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  • Scale: 1/32nd, Wagons and Horses slightly smaller
 

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The Free State of Jones: Mississippi's Longest Civil War
The southeastern Mississippi county that was home to a Unionist stronghold during the Civil War and home to a large and complex mixed-race community in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries

Vicksburg: 47 Days of Siege
First-hand accounts of life during the 47 days Vicksburg was under siege. Ranging from housewives to soliders on both sides, a good idea of what life was like, from ways to pass the time to what to eat, in and around Vicksburg. A large photo album and a glossary

Mississippi's Civil War:
A Narrative History

A great treatment of wartime Mississippi that includes a lot of social and political material in addition to information on battles. It also includes a lot of great stories, from the dramatic resignation of Jefferson Davis from the U.S. Senate in 1861 to Ulysses S. Grant's drinking habits during the siege of Vicksburg

A Hard Trip: A History of the 15th Mississippi Infantry, CSA
The reality of the moment in 1860-61 Mississippi. The thoughts of the men who formed the 15th Mississippi are front and center with good background about the communities the men came from and the reasons they joined the army.
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Grant Wins the War
Decision at Vicksburg

A brilliantly constructed new account,A penetrating analysis of Grant's strategies and actions leading to the Union victory at Vicksburg. Approaching these epic events from a unique and well-rounded perspective, and based on careful research

Grant's Lieutenants:
From Chattanooga to Appomattox

This new volume assesses Union generalship during the final two years of the Civil War. Steven Woodworth, one of the war's premier historians, is joined by a team of scholars-- Grimsley, Marszalek, and Hess, among others--who critique Ulysses S. Grant's commanders

Unconditional Surrender:
U. S. Grant and the Civil War

This is the best juvenile biography on Ulysses S. Grant by a wide margin. Marrin has done an excellent job in introducing Grant to a young audience. I highly recommend it.


Grant's Secret Service: The Intelligence War from Belmont to Appomattox
The first scholarly examination of the use of military intelligence under Ulysses S. Grant's command during the Civil War. Feis makes the new and provocative argument that Grant's use of the Army of the Potomac's Bureau of Military Information played a significant role in Lee's defeat
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Naval Strategies

Naval Strategies of the Civil War: Confederate Innovations and Federal Opportunism
Compare and contrast the strategies of the Southern Secretary of the Navy, Mallory, against his rival in the North, Welles. Mallory used technological innovation and the skill of individuals to bolster the South's seapower against the Union Navy's superior numbers

Confederate Ironclad 1861-65
Every aspect of Confederate ironclads is covered: design, construction, armor, armament, life on board, strategy, tactics, and actual combat actions.
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Reign of Iron: The Story of the First Battling Ironclads, the Monitor and the Merrimack
The first ironclad ships to fight each other, the Monitor and the Virginia (Merrimack), were the unique products of American design genius

Battle on the Bay:
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Civil War history of Galveston is one of the last untold stories from America's bloodiest war, despite the fact that Galveston was a focal point of hostilities throughout the conflict. Galveston emerged as one of the Confederacy's only lifelines to the outside world.
Grant Rises in the West
Grant Rises in the West
by Kenneth P. Williams
From Iuka to Vicksburg, 1862-1863

Grant Rises in the West: From Iuka to Vicksburg, 1862-1863

Published in 1952 and 1956, respectively, these trace this Civil War-rior's rise from colonel in the Illinois volunteers to his defeat of the Confederacy. A fine portrait of Grant.
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U.S. National Park Service
U.S. Library of Congress.

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