This post will be a long post with lots of pictures. Remember, you should be able to click the picture to make it bigger.
I went to the Vicksburg National Military Park. It is a driving tour park with pull-off spots so you can walk and see some of the monuments. It took about 2 1/2 hours to drive through the park. The weather was beautiful with clear skies and temp's in the mid 60's.
The entrance to the park is through a Memorial Arch. In 1917 Congress allocated $150,000.00 for a reunion of the veterans of the Vicksburg campaign. About 8,000 vets from both sides attended. After the reunion, $35,000.00 was unspent so it was decided to use it to build the Memorial Arch.
The picture at the right is one of the almost 1,300 monuments located along the 16 mile road tour. The monuments are paid and provided by the states who had military forces in the campaign. Not all are as big as the one on the right. Interesting fact: During World War II, about 145 of the biggest and heaviest metal monuments were removed and melted down for the war effort. Not all of these removed monuments have been replaced.
Lots of cannons are scattered around the park in the
original positions during the battle
The union general in charge was U. S. Grant. Grant tried several different methods of taking Vicksburg. One was trying to cut a canal on the Louisiana side of the Mississippi River that could be used to by-pass Vicksburg and be out of range of the cannons on the bluffs around the city. Grants canal scheme failed when high water broke the upstream dam and flooded the dig site. Grant then decided to cross the Mississippi River downstream of Vicksburg and attack it from the east. After crossing the river, he needed to take the Rebel stronghold at Grand Gulf. It was similar to Vicksburg in that cannons could easily be used to stop river traffic. The Grand Gulf Battle park is located about 20 miles south of Vicksburg. The road to the park has overhanging trees that gave a tunnel effect.
Freedom at the Grand Gulf Battle Park
After Grant took Grand Gulf and a couple other small battles, he went to Vicksburg. The confederate General in charge at Vicksburg was General Pemberton. He had plenty of time to fortify the approaches to the city to withstand any assault. Grant tried a couple frontal attacks which were easily stopped by the Rebs, so Grant decided to lay siege to the city and starve it into submission. The city held out for about 47 days before Pemberton asked Grant for the terms of surrender. The two generals met under an Oak tree in between the two front lines. The picture below of an up-side-down cannon marks the place where the two generals spent a couple of hours discussing terms.
Meeting place of Generals Grant and Pemberton
There were about 10,000 lives lost on each side during this battle. The Battle at Gettysburg happened just a couple of days later. These two decisive wins for the north practically assured their overall victory.
Take care of each other. Cya