Vicksburg is one of the more remarkable campaigns of the American Civil War. Ulysses Grant and his army of Tennessee had been trying to take away the strategic Confederate river fortress of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Previous, direct attempts to take this important town high above the Mississippi River were blocked by skillful counter moves and hampered by some of the most dangerous terrain in the entire Western territory.

In late April 1863, Grant began a new and bold campaign against Vicksburg and the Confederate defenders under John Pemberton. After conducting a surprise landing below Vicksburg at Bruinsburg, Mississippi, Grant’s forces moved rapidly inland, pushing back the threat presented by forces near Jackson. Once the rear was clear, Grant turned his sights on Vicksburg. Pemberton’s forces were weakened following the Union Victories at Champion Hill and Big Black Bridge, forcing the Confederate chief to retreat to Vicksburg’s defense

The Union army attacked the Confederate stronghold on May 19 and 22, but were repulsed with such great loss that Grant determined to lay siege to the city to avoid further loss of life. Soldiers and civilians alike endured the hardships of siege warfare for 47 days before the surrender of Pemberton’s forces on July 4, 1863. With the Mississippi River now firmly in Union hands, the Confederacy's fate was all but sealed.

Source: Vicksburg

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