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Siege of Vicksburg
Part of the Vicksburg campaign of the Western Theater of the American Civil War
Battle of Vicksburg, Kurz and Allison.png
The Siege of Vicksburg by Kurz and Allison
Date May 18 – July 4, 1863
Location
Result Decisive Union victory
Belligerents
 United States (Union)  Confederate States (Confederacy)
Commanders and leaders
Ulysses S. Grant John C. Pemberton  Surrendered
Units involved
Army of the Tennessee Army of Mississippi
Strength
77,000 33,000
Casualties and losses
4,835 total
(766 killed
 3,793 wounded
 276 captured/missing)
32,697 total
(3,202 killed/wounded/missing
 29,495 surrendered)

172 cannons captured by United States

1 camel killed
Ohio Statehouse (9843635815)
Sculpture honoring the Battle of Vicksburg, July 4, 1863

The Siege of Vicksburg (May 18 – July 4, 1863) was the final major military action in the Vicksburg campaign of the American Civil War. In a series of maneuvers, Union Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee crossed the Mississippi River and drove the Confederate Army of Mississippi, led by Lt. Gen. John C. Pemberton, into the defensive lines surrounding the fortress city of Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Vicksburg was the last major Confederate stronghold on the Mississippi River; therefore, capturing it completed the second part of the Northern strategy, the Anaconda Plan. When two major assaults against the Confederate fortifications, on May 19 and 22, were repulsed with heavy casualties, Grant decided to besiege the city beginning on May 25.

After holding out for more than forty days, with their supplies nearly gone, the garrison surrendered on July 4. The successful ending of the Vicksburg campaign significantly degraded the ability of the Confederacy to maintain its war effort. This action, combined with the surrender of the down-river Port Hudson to Maj. Gen. Nathaniel P. Banks on July 9, yielded command of the Mississippi River to the Union forces, who would hold it for the rest of the conflict.

The Confederate surrender on July 4, 1863, is sometimes considered, when combined with Gen. Robert E. Lee's defeat at Gettysburg by Maj. Gen. George Meade the previous day, the turning point of the war. It cut off the Trans-Mississippi Department (containing the states of Arkansas, Texas and part of Louisiana) from the rest of the Confederate States, effectively splitting the Confederacy in two for the rest of the war. Lincoln called Vicksburg "The key to the war."

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