The Siege of Vicksburg battlefield is one of the most important sites of the US Civil War. Union General Ulysses S. Grant’s victory was a major turning point in the war, effectively splitting the Confederacy in two. Here are a few facts you might not know about this vital engagement:
It Saved Grant’s Career: Although Ulysses Grant had served with distinction in the Mexican-American War, his early action in the Civil War was controversial. Before the Vicksburg campaign, Grant’s most prominent victory came at the Battle of Shiloh, a costly success that earned him criticism from northern newspapers and caused him to briefly consider resigning his post. However, his bold maneuvers during the Vicksburg campaign restored his tarnished reputation, and Grant would ultimately be placed in charge of the entire Union Army less than a year after the siege.
The Battle of Gettysburg Happened at the Same Time: When Grant reached the city of Vicksburg, he besieged it for 47 days until the Confederates finally surrendered. The siege ended with Confederate General John C. Pemberton’s surrender on July 4th, 1863, the day after the end of the Battle of Gettysburg. These two defeats were a devastating one-two punch for the Confederacy, who would ultimately never recover the successful footing they had before.
Grant and Pemberton Knew Each Other – In a prime example of how the Civil War pitted Americans against one another, General Grant and his Confederate counterpart, General Pemberton, had known each other before the war began. The two men had served together in the Mexican-American War and had even fought side-by-side at the Battle of Palo Alto. Supposedly, before agreeing on the terms of Pemberton’s surrender at Vicksburg, he and Grant sat under a tree and reminisced on their experiences as brothers in arms.
To learn more about the Siege of Vicksburg, we recommend checking out our Vicksburg Battlefield Self-Guided Driving Tour, or you can sign up for Action+ to gain access to over 100 tours for a single yearly price.
Essential Travel Guide: