Sadly the Civil War divided our young nation, this time we weren't fighting another country for our freedom. We were fighting now fighting amongst ourselves--all Americans!!!! The potential to ruin our own nation from within was a distinct possibility. This was brother against brother-families divided. The Civil War lasted four years, 1861 to 1865.
"Vicksburg is the key. The war can never be brought to a close until the key is in our pocket," President Abraham Lincoln said. Southerners agreed. "Vicksburg is the nail head that holds the South's two halves together," said Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
As you can tell from these quotes, the battle and control of Vicksburg was very important to the winning of the civil war. The importance of Vicksburg is due mainly to its location. The North needed to control the Mississippi river, they already had control of the river from the north and the south.
This was the last big obstacle in the way. Once they had control, the Confederate states of Louisiana, Texas and Arkansas would be cut off from the war and the Union would now have a major supply artery. The city of Vicksburg, Mississippi on a bluff 250 feet high, overlooks the Mississippi River on the Louisiana-Mississippi state border. This made it an ideal spot for defense. The commander at Vicksburg was Lieutenant General John Clifford Pemperton. He obtained supplies and soldiers from Arkansas, Texas, Louisiana and the Mississippi Yazoo Delta district.
Before the start of the Civil War, Vicksburg was a very prosperous and sophisticated town. The city was a busy center of trade, the wharves were crowded with boats carrying many kinds of goods and commodities. It was sophisticated enough to have a Shakespeare repertory company, a municipal orchestra and the courthouse was made in Greek revival style.