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EDUCATION

Events and battles

Battle Of Vicksburg

Vicksburg, Miss., levee and steamboats, 1864.

Vicksburg, Miss., was a small town perched atop a bluff overlooking the Mississippi River.

The town had been heavily fortified by the Confederates, and all approaching ships and soldiers had been driven back.

Gen. Ulysses S. Grant had tried to attack the hilltop city and failed, so they simply surrounded the bluff and bombarded it with Union gunboats. The people of Vicksburg lasted for seven weeks, but finally surrendered on July 4, 1863, just as Lee was being defeated in Gettysburg, Pa.

The Battle of Gettysburg combined with the fall of Vicksburg signaled the turning point of the Civil War. First, the Mississippi River was now in Union hands, allowing unlimited access to the river and dividing the Confederacy in half.

With the defeat at Gettysburg, Lee lost more men and material than could be replaced, and his army could never again invade the North. By late summer of 1863, there was slim hope for a Northern surrender, and the Union armies were closing in from all sides.

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