A friend who is a Civil War expert reminded me that July 4th is also the anniversary of the fall of Vicksburg in 1863. As far as I know (and I haven’t researched this, just repeating what I’ve been told) Vicksburg and Jackson and maybe other MS towns didn’t celebrate July 4th for many many many years because it was considered a day of mourning. I do know that, whether from principal or cheapness, Jackson didn’t have a fireworks display until just a couple of years ago.
Anyway, this same Civil War expert passed along this quote from the letter of a Confederate soldier who had endured the 47-day siege and bombardment of the city that pushed soldiers and civilians alike to the brink of starvation. The quote is found in Richard Wheeler’s Siege of Vicksburg:
For forty-seven days we had been fighting, and hardly caught a glimpse of each other, save hurriedly and beneath the black smoke of a charge or the rush of a retreat. Now the two armies stood up and gazed at each other with wondering eyes. Winding around the crests of hills – in ditches and parallels hitherto undreamed of by us – one long line [of Federals] after another started into view, looking like huge blue snakes coiling around the ill-fated city. They were amazed at the paucity of our numbers; we were astonished at the vastness of theirs….
Leave a Reply