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Vicksburg

May 18 - July 4, 1863

Warren County, Mississippi

Vicksburg Map LongIt is one of the more remarkable campaigns of the American Civil War. For many a hard fought month, Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee had been trying to wrest 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 deft rebel counter moves and some of the most pernicious terrain in the entire Western theater.

In late April 1863, Grant undertook 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 posed by Joseph E. Johnston’s forces near Jackson. Once his rear was clear, Grant again turned his sights on Vicksburg.

Court House Long DescriptionUnion victories at Champion Hill and Big Black Bridge weakened Pemberton’s forces, leaving the Confederate chief with no alternative but to retreat to Vicksburg's defenses. The Federals assailed the Rebel 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 privations 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. 

Note: Casualty figures include the 29,491 officers and men and surrendered by Pemberton.

Winchel Vicksburg article promo

Unvexing the Father of Waters

Historian Terrence J. Winschel discusses Ulysses S. Grant's campaign to capture Vicksburg and open the Mississippi River.

Battle Facts

Campaign

Grant's Operations against Vicksburg

Other Battles in This Campaign

Raymond
Port Gibson
Champion Hill

Forces Engaged

Total: 110,000

Each Icon = soldiers

Union

77,000

Confederate

33,000

Total Estimated Casualties

37,402

Union

806 killed
3,940 wounded
164 missing & captured
4,910 total

Confederate

805 killed
1,938 wounded
29,620 missing & captured
32,492 total

Commanders

Confederate

John C. Pemberton

Result

Union Victory

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