Monday, June 13, 2011

V Is For Vicksburg

Vicksburg National Military Park 15

It's time again for ABC Wednesday. If you aren't participating in ABC Wednesday, you are missing out on a lot of fun.

This week the letter is V. V is for Vicksburg. Last year Gina and I spent some time in Vicksburg, Mississippi on our way home from the Relay For Life Summit in Jackson, Mississippi. While we were there we visited the Vicksburg National Military Park.

The park commemorates the campaign, siege, and defense of Vicksburg. The city's surrender on July 4, 1863 split the South, giving control of the Mississippi River to the Union. There are over 1,340 monuments, a restored Union gunboat, and National Cemetery on the 16-mile tour road.

Cannon 3

There is so much history in the park. The U.S. Government established the battlefield as a National Military Park in 1899.

The battles of the Vicksburg campaign were some of the fiercest and long lasting of the war. General Grant attacked the Confederates on May 19, 1863 and again on May 22. The Confederate positions were too strong, and the Union casualties were high. On May 25 General Grant decided on a siege of the city as he had it surrounded and had naval bombardment from the Mississippi. He stated in his memoirs, "I now determined upon a regular siege—to 'out-camp the enemy,' as it were, and to incur no more losses."

By the end of June, half of the Rebel soldiers were sick or hospitalized. Scurvy, malaria, dysentery, diarrhea, and other diseases cut their ranks. Food was almost non-existent, with soldiers resorting to eating dogs, mules and shoe leather. On July 3 General Pemberton rode out of the city with white flags to meet General Grant to discuss terms of surrender.


The most important thing for the Union army was that they now controlled all of the Mississippi River. The side that controlled that waterway controlled a direct route through the Confederacy and would eventually dominate the war. The full campaign claimed 10,142 Union and 9,091 Confederate killed and wounded.

As we toured the park and looked at all of the monuments it was sobering to think of the loss of life and the hardship that occurred in this beautiful countryside.

Vicksburg National Military Park 9


Vicksburg National Military Park 7

Vicksburg National Military Park 10

Vicksburg National Military Park 6

Vicksburg National Military Park 2


  1. That was was such a sobering one with so much loss of life. Its hard to imagine anyone persevering to the end. Great post and nice to see the photo of you and your wife.

  2. Those photo shots are amazing.

  3. very sad tale as a part of our history.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  4. Wonderful shots of the place and interesting history of the place.

  5. Thankyou for your information about the Vicksburg National Park - a few years back we visited Vimy Ridge in France - which is a memorial to the first world war - we were overcome with sadness for those gone and their families

  6. Well at least they are remembered and loved for the sacrifice.

  7. You did an excellent job of recreating those bloody days in Vicksburg. Farthest south battlefield we've visited has been Fredericksburg.
    p.s. Is Mena near Hatfield? We ride with Christian Motorcyclists who are headquartered there.

  8. Mena is 11 miles north of Hatfield on Hwy 71. CMA is located halfway between Mena and Hatfield