The Guns of Vicksburg

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U.S. Grant’s campaign in the West during the Civil War was Vicksburg, Mississippi. On April 16, 1863 the gunboats…

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One glitch in U.S. Grant’s campaign in the West during the Civil War was Vicksburg, Mississippi. After repeated attempts to take the city from the north had failed, Grant made a bold decision to attack from the south. It was very risky – in order to transport his army across the Mississippi (The groups marched over land to the south), he needed to send the armored gunboats. If Vicksburg was not taken, the gunboats would not be able to pass back, going up the current, and control of the vital Mississippi would be lost.

On April 16, 1863 the gunboats and transports tried to sneak past with lights blackened and smokestacks muffled. The Confederates, of course, saw them and opened fire. The fiery display of night battle lasted only a short time. Only one ship, the transport in the center of the painting was lost.
Grant’s plans were successful and Vicksburg was eventually taken. The strategy is now considered a classic and required study at West Point.

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