President Lincoln called Vicksburg “the key.” If the Union could control Vicksburg, it would isolate Texas, Arkansas and most of Louisiana. To help insure this lifeline the Confederates built fortifications along the river. It is set high atop a bluff overlooking a river bend.
The fighting here lasted 46 days. Major General Ulysses S. Grant led the Union forces at Vicksburg. Lieutenant General John. C Pemberton commanded the Confederate forces. Vicksburg’s civilians took shelter in caves during the siege. The Confederates seemed to have the upper hand. They were on top of the hill firing down upon the Union soldiers. We concluded the Union soldiers really just waited out the Confederates here. They ran out of men and supplies.
There are hundreds of monuments placed in the park. 1581 Union soldiers were killed and 7554 were wounded. 1413 Confederate soldiers were killed and 3878 were wounded. The Confederate forces surrendered on July 4, 1863 the same day as the final battle at Gettysburg. Marcus said, ” The Union failed many times here, but finally took control of Vicksburg.”
We also saw the reconstructed Ironclad River Gunboat Cairo. Cairo was the first vessel ever sunk by an electrically detonated torpedo.