General Ulysses S. Grant's brilliant siege of Vicksburg had a significant impact on the surrender of the Confederacy. This Vicksburg campaign was significant due to the fact that it basically gave the Union total control of the Mississippi River. This meant the isolation of the West and basically a clear waterway for supplies to reach the Deep South. Once this waterway was open arms, food, and soldiers could be provided for the Union soldiers in the South and open a devastating wound in the heart of the Confederacy. Once Vicksburg had been taken the West would basically be isolated and under the Unions control; in addition Grant could focus on the heart of the South. Once Vicksburg was captured, and Grant advanced to the battle of the Wilderness, his inability to be stopped by the Confederates was clearly shown. Vicksburg basically signaled the beginning of the end of the Civil War.
Vicksburg was an essential position for the Confederacy because of its strategic geography. Vicksburg was far enough away from the Mississippi that it was very difficult for naval ships to bombard the city, secondly hills and swamps surrounded it so that it was very hard to reach by land. The city lay on top of the hills so that it was possible for the Confederates to bomb Union naval vessels that wanted to sail down the Mississippi. This made the Vicksburg campaign very difficult for the Union armies that were trying to take Vicksburg from the north. Grant describes the terrain as,
"The ground about Vicksburg is admirable for defense. On the north it is about two hundred feet above the Mississippi River at the highest point and very much cut up by the washing rains; the ravines were grown up with cane and underbrus...
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...he Confederacy. This victory at Vicksburg sparked a fear in Confederacy, that they could not stop Grants army and that they were essentially doomed in this war. After Vicksburg, Grant gained more popularity and this was the chief cause for his election as General-in-Chief. Once Grant took control of the entire Union army, with his skills, he easily conquered the rest of the Confederacy and single handedly was the most important military general in the Unions victory of the Civil War.
Catton, Bruce. Grant Moves South. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1960.
Ballard, Michael. Pemberton, A Biography. Mississippi: University Press of Mississippi, 1991.
Simpson, Brooks. Personal Memoirs of U.S. Grant. Nebraska: University of Nebraska, 1996.
Cramer, M. J. Ulysses S. Grant: Conversations and Unpublished Letters. New York: Eaton and Mains, 1897
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