the 19,233 dead, wounded or missing: 10,142 Union and 9,091 Confederate
soldiers....you are not forgotten. A big THANK YOU to the U.S. Postal
Service in their observance of the Siege of Vicksburg with the release
of this remarkable stamp. And don't forget to take in the even MORE
remarkable events commemorating the 150th dedication of The Vicksburg
Military Park all this weekend. God Bless America!!
VICKSBURG, Miss. — Even 150 years
later, Vicksburg is still overshadowed by Gettysburg — so much so, that
the Mississippi city is having its Civil War commemoration a few weeks
early rather than compete with Pennsylvania for tourist dollars around
Union forces waged a long campaign to conquer Vicksburg and
gain control of the lower Mississippi River. The effort culminated in a
concentrated military attack that started May 18, 1863, and a siege that
started eight days later. Confederate forces surrendered the city on
July 4.The Battle of Gettysburg was fought July 1-3, 1863, and it
produced a shockingly high number of casualties — 51,000 dead, wounded
History buffs are traveling to battlegrounds to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War from 2011 to 2015.
officials said they decided more than a year ago that it would be
prudent to set their sesquicentennial commemoration to coincide with the
beginning of the siege, rather than the end, specifically so travelers
wouldn’t have to choose between Vicksburg and Gettysburg if they wanted
to visit both places.
“Vicksburg, it’s a protracted campaign.
Some historians call it one of the greatest campaigns in North America,”
said Rick Martin, chief of operations for the Vicksburg National
Military Park. “But, it’s 18 months to try to take Vicksburg. There’s
not any flashy battle like what happened at Gettysburg.”
Gettysburg and Vicksburg, combined, weakened the Confederacy and gave momentum to Union forces.
Vicksburg had 19,233 dead, wounded or missing: 10,142 Union and 9,091 Confederate.
But Gettysburg’s numbers were higher: 23,000 Union and 28,000 Confederate.
“Fast forward 150 years later, and it still has the notoriety that it had then, or more,” Martin said of Gettysburg.
is relatively close to the major metropolitan areas of Washington and
Baltimore, which made it more accessible to war correspondents at the
time. Vicksburg was a distant outpost with few reporters or
illustrators, so it received less attention in 1863. But, Vicksburg was
Because of the city’s location on the
bluffs of the Mississippi River, President Abraham Lincoln called
Vicksburg the key to the Confederacy: “The war can never be brought to a
close until that key is in our pocket....We can take all the northern
ports of the Confederacy, and they can defy us from Vicksburg.”
Union had already captured New Orleans in 1862. Once Vicksburg fell,
the Union controlled the Mississippi River, and the Confederacy was
Concerts, lectures and wreath-laying ceremonies are
scheduled for the next several days at the Vicksburg National Military
Park. The sprawling battlefield has 16 miles of roads that wind through
woods and grassy hills, and it’s dotted with statues and stone monuments
honoring soldiers who fought there.
On Thursday, the U.S. Postal Service unveiled a Vicksburg stamp that’s part of a Civil War commemorative series.
Saturday, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad will be in town to rededicate his
state’s monument in the military park. The park’s website
(http://1.usa.gov/13LW2d0) lists three artillery groups, three cavalry
groups and 38 infantry groups from Iowa that fought at Vicksburg.
weekend is your once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be in Vicksburg for
the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War Siege of Vicksburg. Our
volunteers have planned tons of events and things to see and do at this
historic commemoration, and we invite you to come be a part of it! Find
out more at http://www.visitvicksburg.com/explore/civil_war/sesquicentennial/