Visiting Vicksburg: A Historical Wonder

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As a big history buff with an interest in the Civil War, I wanted to see Vicksburg, Mississippi that played such an important part in that conflict. But even if you are not a fan of history, like my wife who joined me, there are reasons to visit this city on the shores of the Mississippi River. But let’s talk history first…

Vicksburg National Military Park

At the beginning of the Civil War, General-in-Chief of the U.S. forces Winfield Scott, made a plan called the Anaconda Plan. It called for blockading Confederate ports and advancing down the Mississippi River to cut the South in two. The Navy made good progress in blockading the ports, but 2 years after the start of the war, the Union seemed no closer to clearing the Mississippi because there was one barrier left, Vicksburg.

Even today, Vicksburg sits on high ground next to the Mississippi River. Well technically, now much of the downtown is along the Yazoo River. One day in 1876, the residents of the city woke to discover that the river had cut a new channel which left the city high and dry. In 1862 and 1863 the Union Army had tried unsuccessfully to do the same thing, that the river eventually accomplished on its own, by building a canal to bypass Vicksburg. Ironically it was again the U.S. army in the shape of the Corps of Engineers that restored the waterfront of Vicksburg in 1903 by redirecting the course of the Yazoo River.

You can learn about the campaign to take Vicksburg at the visitor center of the Vicksburg National Military Park. Take the time to see the movie that describes the campaign which was probably one of the boldest campaigns made by Ulysses S. Grant during the war as he marched away from his supply lines. This would give General Sherman some big ideas that led to his eventual march from Atlanta to the sea later in the war.

The original story appeared here: