THIS MONTH IN THE CIVIL WAR – July, 1863
Vicksburg, Mississippi was a natural fortress. On a high bluff on the east side of the wide Mississippi River where it makes a sharp hairpin turn, the city was protected on its land sides by terrain so rough and hilly that it made ground assaults perilous, but also lent itself to the building of fortifications. Whoever controlled Vicksburg controlled the river.
The Union’s first attempts to capture Vicksburg and thus open transportation routes on the Mississippi occurred in June of 1862 when Union Admirals David Farragut and Charles Henry Davis attacked the city from the river. It was the first of a long series of failed attempts by Federal forces to dislodge the rebels from their stronghold.