The Vicksburg Campaign

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The city of Vicksburg, Mississippi lies on a bluff over looking the Mississippi River. The city is positioned on one of the Mississippi River?s hairpin curves. During the Civil War there were powerful cannons that could do a great deal of damage to any ship that came with in range. North of Vicksburg the Yazoo River flows into the Mississippi River forming a swampy delta.

The Confederacy required Vicksburg because it was the last city that the confederates controlled on the Mississippi River. If Vicksburg was lost not only would the Confederacy lose control of the Mississippi River, they would also be split in half. Texas, Arkansas, and western Louisiana would be cut off from the eastern Confederacy and would be unable to send men and materials that the eastern confederacy desperately needed.

The Union wanted the city of Vicksburg because it was strategically important to them. The Union military?s strategy consisted of three objectives to defeat the Confederacy.

The first goal was to capture the confederate capital at Richmond, Virginia, which was only 100 miles from Washington, D.C. The second goal was to strangle the Confederacy using a blockade. The blockade would require the U.S. Navy in a cordon around the 3,350 mile seacoast of the Confederacy to prevent seaborne commerce from entering or leaving Southern ports. The third part was to advance down the Mississippi River, cut the Confederacy in half, and defeat any confederate armies. Vicksburg, Mississippi was the final piece the Union needed to gain control the Mississippi River and to defeat the confederates.

U.S. Grant, who was leading the Vicksburg Campaign for the Union Army, was left with 50,000 of what was once a120, 000man army. This was a result of his superior officer, Halleck, dividing the troops before he left for the east as...