Vicksburg, Mississippi

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Vicksburg, Mississippi
Old Warren County Courthouse.jpg
Old Warren County Courthouse ("Old Courthouse Museum")
Nickname: 
"Gibraltar of the Confederacy" [1]
Warren County Mississippi Incorporated and Unincorporated areas Vicksburg Highlighted.svg
Location of Vicksburg in Warren County
USA Mississippi location map.svg
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Vicksburg, Mississippi
Location in Mississippi in the United States
Usa edcp location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Vicksburg, Mississippi
Vicksburg, Mississippi (the United States)
Coordinates: 32°20′10″N90°52′31″W / 32.33611°N 90.87528°W / 32.33611; -90.87528 Coordinates: 32°20′10″N90°52′31″W / 32.33611°N 90.87528°W / 32.33611; -90.87528
CountryFlag of the United States.svg  United States
State Flag of Mississippi.svg  Mississippi
County Warren
Incorporated February 15, 1839
Named for Newitt Vick
Government
   Mayor George Flaggs Jr.
Area
[2]
   City 35.09 sq mi (90.89 km2)
  Land33.02 sq mi (85.51 km2)
  Water2.08 sq mi (5.38 km2)
Elevation
240 ft (82 m)
Population
 (2020)
   City 21,573
  Density653.39/sq mi (252.28/km2)
   Metro
57,433 (US: 162nd)
Time zone UTC−6 (CST)
  Summer (DST) UTC−5 (CDT)
ZIP codes
39180-39183
Area code(s) 601 and 769
FIPS code 28-76720
GNIS feature ID0679216
Website City of Vicksburg
Vicksburg City Hall, by architect James Riely Gordon Vicksburg City Hall, Mississippi.jpg
Vicksburg City Hall, by architect James Riely Gordon
U.S. Post Office (former) and Courthouse in Vicksburg Vicksburg December 2018 25 (United States Post Office and Courthouse).jpg
U.S. Post Office (former) and Courthouse in Vicksburg

Vicksburg is a historic city in Warren County, Mississippi, United States. It is the county seat, and the population at the 2010 census was 23,856.

Contents

Located on a high bluff on the east bank of the Mississippi River across from Louisiana, Vicksburg was built by French colonists in 1719, and the outpost withstood an attack from the native Natchez people. It was incorporated as Vicksburg in 1825 after Methodist missionary Newitt Vick.

During the American Civil War, it was a key Confederate river-port, and its July 1863 surrender to Ulysses S. Grant, along with the concurrent Battle of Gettysburg, marked the turning-point of the war. The city is home to three large installations of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, which has often been involved in local flood control.

Status

Vicksburg is the only city in, and the county seat of, Warren County, Mississippi, United States. It is located 234 miles (377 km) northwest of New Orleans at the confluence of the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers, and 40 miles (64 km) due west of Jackson, the state capital. It is located on the east bank of the Mississippi River across from Louisiana.

The city has increased in population since 1900, when 14,834 people lived here. The population was 26,407 at the 2000 census. In 2010, it was designated as the principal city of a Micropolitan Statistical Area with a total population of 49,644, which includes all of Warren County.

History

First People

The area that is now Vicksburg was long occupied by the Natchez Native Americans as part of their historical territory along the Mississippi. The Natchez spoke a language isolate not related to the Muskogean languages of the other major tribes in the area. Before the Natchez, other indigenous cultures had occupied this strategic area for thousands of years.

European settlement

The first Europeans who settled the area were French colonists who built Fort Saint Pierre in 1719 on the high bluffs overlooking the Yazoo River at present-day Redwood. They conducted fur trading with the Natchez and others, and started plantations. On 29 November 1729, the Natchez attacked the fort and plantations in and around the present-day city of Natchez. They killed several hundred settlers, including Jesuit missionary Paul Du Poisson. As was the custom, they took a number of women and children as captives, adopting them into their families.

The Natchez War was a disaster for French Louisiana, and the colonial population of the Natchez District never recovered. Aided by the Choctaw, traditional enemies of the Natchez, though, the French defeated and scattered the Natchez and their allies, the Yazoo.

The Choctaw Nation took over the area by right of conquest and inhabited it for several decades. Under pressure from the US government, the Choctaw agreed to cede nearly 2,000,000 acres (8,100 km2) of land to the US under the terms of the Treaty of Fort Adams in 1801. The treaty was the first of a series that eventually led to the removal of most of the Choctaw to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River in 1830. Some Choctaw remained in Mississippi, citing article XIV of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek; they became citizens of the state and the United States. They struggled to maintain their culture against the pressure of the binary slave society, which classified people as only white or black.

In 1790, the Spanish founded a military outpost on the site, which they called Fort Nogales (nogales meaning "walnut trees"). When the Americans took possession in 1798 following the American Revolutionary War and a treaty with Spain, they changed the name to Walnut Hills. The small village was incorporated in 1825 as Vicksburg, named after Newitt Vick, a Methodist minister who had established a Protestant mission on the site. [3]

Drawing of the hanging of five gamblers in Vicksburg in 1835 Vicksburg gambler hanging 1835.jpg
Drawing of the hanging of five gamblers in Vicksburg in 1835

In 1835, during the Murrell Excitement, a mob from Vicksburg attempted to expel the gamblers from the city, because the citizens were tired of the rougher element treating the city residents with nothing but contempt. They captured and hanged five gamblers who had shot and killed a local doctor. [4] Historian Joshua D. Rothman calls this event "the deadliest outbreak of extralegal violence in the slave states between the Southampton Insurrection and the Civil War." [5]

View of Vicksburg in 1855 View of Vicksburg, Mississippi.jpg
View of Vicksburg in 1855

Civil War

During the American Civil War, the city finally surrendered during the Siege of Vicksburg, after which the Union Army gained control of the entire Mississippi River. The 47-day siege was intended to starve the city into submission. Its location atop a high bluff overlooking the Mississippi River proved otherwise impregnable to assault by federal troops. The surrender of Vicksburg by Confederate General John C. Pemberton on July 4, 1863, together with the defeat of General Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg the day before, has historically marked the turning point of the Civil War in the Union's favor.

From the surrender of Vicksburg until the end of the war in 1865, the area was under Union military occupation. [6]

The Confederate president, Jefferson Davis, was based at his family plantation at Brierfield, just south of the city.

Losing of Mississippi access and commercial status

Floating drydock in Vicksburg, circa 1905 Mississippi River floating dry dock - Vicksburg.jpg
Floating drydock in Vicksburg, circa 1905

Because of Vicksburg's location on the Mississippi River, it built extensive trade from the prodigious steamboat traffic in the 19th century. It shipped out cotton coming to it from surrounding counties and was a major trading city in West Central Mississippi.

However, in 1876, a Mississippi River flood cut off the large meander next to Vicksburg through the De Soto Point, which changed the Mississippi River's course away from the city. Vicksburg only retained access to an oxbow lake formed from the old channel of the river, which effectively isolated the city from accessing the Mississippi riverfront. The city's economy suffered greatly due to the lack of a functional river port; Vicksburg would not be a river town again until the completion of the Yazoo Diversion Canal in 1903 by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. [7]

Between 1881 and 1894, the Anchor Line, a prominent steamboat company on the Mississippi River from 1859 to 1898, operated a steamboat called the City of Vicksburg.

Political and racial unrest after Civil War

Celebrations of the 4th of July, the day of surrender, were irregular until 1947. The Vicksburg Evening Post of July 4, 1883, called July 4 "the day we don't celebrate", [8] and another Vicksburg newspaper, the Daily Commercial Appeal, in 1888 hoped that a political victory would bring an enthusiastic celebration the following year. [9] In 1902, the 4th of July saw only "a parade of colored draymen". [10] In 1947, the Jackson Clarion-Ledger stated that the city of Vicksburg did not celebrate the 4th of July again until 1945, and then it was celebrated as Confederate Carnival Day. [11] A recent scholar disagrees, stating that large Fourth of July celebrations were being held by 1907, and informal celebrations before that. [12] [13] A large parade was held in 1890. [14]

In the first few years after the Civil War, white Confederate veterans developed the Ku Klux Klan, beginning in Tennessee; it had chapters throughout the South and attacked freedmen and their supporters. It was suppressed about 1870. By the mid-1870s, new white paramilitary groups had arisen in the Deep South, including the Red Shirts in Mississippi, as whites struggled to regain political and social power over the black majority. Elections were marked by violence and fraud as white Democrats worked to suppress black Republican voting.

In August 1874, a black sheriff, Peter Crosby, was elected in Vicksburg. Letters by a white planter, Batchelor, detail the preparations of whites for what he described as a "race war," including acquisition of the newest Winchester guns. On December 7, 1874, white men disrupted a black Republican meeting celebrating Crosby's victory and held him in custody before running him out of town. [15] He advised blacks from rural areas to return home; along the way, some were attacked by armed whites. During the next several days, armed white mobs swept through black areas, killing other men at home or out in the fields. Sources differ as to total fatalities, with 29–50 blacks and 2 whites reported dead at the time. Twenty-first-century historian Emilye Crosby estimates that 300 blacks were killed in the city and the surrounding area of Claiborne County, Mississippi. [16] The Red Shirts were active in Vicksburg and other Mississippi areas, and black pleas to the federal government for protection were not met.

At the request of Republican Governor Adelbert Ames, who had left the state during the violence, President Ulysses S. Grant sent federal troops to Vicksburg in January 1875. In addition, a congressional committee investigated what was called the "Vicksburg Riot" at the time (and reported as the "Vicksburg Massacre" by northern newspapers.) They took testimony from both black and white residents, as reported by the New York Times, but no one was ever prosecuted for the deaths. The Red Shirts and other white insurgents suppressed Republican voting by both whites and blacks; smaller-scale riots were staged in the state up to the 1875 elections, at which time white Democrats regained control of a majority of seats in the state legislature.

Under new constitutions, amendments and laws passed between 1890 in Mississippi and 1908 in the remaining southern states, white Democrats disenfranchised most blacks and many poor whites by creating barriers to voter registration, such as poll taxes, literacy tests, and grandfather clauses. They passed laws imposing Jim Crow and racial segregation of public facilities.

On March 12, 1894, the popular soft drink Coca-Cola was bottled for the first time in Vicksburg by Joseph A. Biedenharn, a local confectioner. Today, surviving 19th-century Biedenharn soda bottles are prized by collectors of Coca-Cola memorabilia. The original candy store has been renovated and is used as the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum.

20th century to present

Mississippi River Commission building, built 1884 Mississippi River Commission building in Vicksburg.jpg
Mississippi River Commission building, built 1884

The exclusion of most blacks from the political system lasted for decades until after Congressional passage of civil rights legislation in the mid-1960s. Lynchings of blacks and other forms of white racial terrorism against them continued to occur in Vicksburg after the start of the 20th century. In May 1903, for instance, two black men charged with murdering a planter were taken from jail by a mob of 200 farmers and lynched before they could go to trial. [17] In May 1919, as many as a thousand white men broke down three sets of steel doors to abduct, hang, burn and shoot a black prisoner, Lloyd Clay, who was falsely accused of raping a white woman. [18] [19] From 1877 to 1950 in Warren County, 14 African Americans were lynched by whites, most in the decades near the turn of the century. [20]

The United States Army Corps of Engineers diverted the Yazoo River in 1903 into the old, shallowing channel to revive the waterfront of Vicksburg. The port city was able to receive steamboats again, but much freight and passenger traffic had moved to railroads, which had become more competitive.

Railroad access to the west across the river continued to be by transfer steamers and ferry barges until a combination railroad-highway bridge was built in 1929. After 1973, Interstate 20 bridged the river. Freight rail traffic still crosses by the old bridge. North-south transportation links are by the Mississippi River and U.S. Highway 61. Vicksburg has the only crossing over the Mississippi River between Greenville and Natchez, and the only interstate highway crossing of the river between Baton Rouge and Memphis.

During the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, in which hundreds of thousands of acres were inundated, Vicksburg served as the primary gathering point for refugees. Relief parties put up temporary housing, as the flood submerged a large percentage of the Mississippi Delta.

Because of the overwhelming damage from the flood, the US Army Corps of Engineers established the Waterways Experiment Station as the primary hydraulics laboratory, to develop protection of important croplands and cities. Now known as the Engineer Research and Development Center, it applies military engineering, information technology, environmental engineering, hydraulic engineering, and geotechnical engineering to problems of flood control and river navigation.

In December 1953, a severe tornado swept across Vicksburg, causing 38 deaths and destroying nearly 1,000 buildings.

Vicksburg 1910 LOC pan 6a13672.jpg
A 1910 panorama

During World War II, cadets from the Royal Air Force, flying from their training base at Terrell, Texas, routinely flew to Vicksburg on training flights. The town served as a stand-in for the British for Cologne, Germany, which is the same distance from London, England as Vicksburg is from Terrell. [21]

Particularly after World War II, in which many blacks served, returning veterans began to be active in the civil rights movement, wanting to have full citizenship after fighting in the war. In Mississippi, activists in the Vicksburg Movement became prominent during the 1960s.

Contemporary Vicksburg

In 2001, a group of Vicksburg residents visited the Paducah, Kentucky, mural project, looking for ideas for their own community development. [22] In 2002, the Vicksburg Riverfront murals program was begun by Louisiana mural artist Robert Dafford and his team on the floodwall located on the waterfront in downtown. [23] Subjects for the murals were drawn from the history of Vicksburg and the surrounding area. They include President Theodore Roosevelt's bear hunt, the Sultana, the Sprague, the Siege of Vicksburg, the Kings Crossing site, Willie Dixon, the Flood of 1927, the 1953 Vicksburg, Mississippi tornado, Rosa A. Temple High School (known for integration activism) and the Vicksburg National Military Park. [24] The project was finished in 2009 with the completion of the Jitney Jungle/Glass Kitchen mural. [23]

In the fall of 2010, a new 55-foot mural was painted on a section of wall on Grove Hill across the street from the original project by former Dafford muralists Benny Graeff and Herb Roe. The mural's subject is the annual "Run thru History" held in the Vicksburg National Military Park. [25] [26]

On December 6–7, 2014, a symposium was held on the 140th anniversary of the 1874 riots. A variety of scholars gave papers and an open panel discussion was held on the second day at the Vicksburg National Military Park, in collaboration with the Jacqueline House African American Museum. [27]

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 35.3 sq mi (91 km2), of which 32.9 sq mi (85 km2) are land and 2.4 sq mi (6.2 km2) (6.78%) are covered by water.

Vicksburg is located at the confluence of the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. Much of the city is on top of a high bluff on the east bank of the Mississippi River. Vicksburg is also served by Interstate 20. The interstate opens Vicksburg with a Cloverleaf interchange that heads out to U.S. Route 61 North towards Rolling Fork, Mississippi, Clarksdale, Mississippi, and stretches out for another 77 miles towards Memphis, Tennessee. On the south part of the exit, it heads on Mississippi Highway 27 towards Utica, Mississippi. As the interstate goes on it makes interchanges with Clay Street, Indiana Avenue, and Halls Ferry Road. After the downtown interchanges are over, before finally crossing in Louisiana with a Cloverleaf interchange, I-20 makes a Directional T interchange with US-61, and US-61 heads south toward Port Gibson, Mississippi, Natchez, Mississippi, and then continues for another 92 miles into Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Louisiana's capital city. Interstate 20 then continues to head west towards Monroe, Louisiana, Shreveport, Louisiana, Dallas, and lastly after 445 miles, making a Trumpet interchange with Interstate 10 in Toyah, Texas.

Climate

Vicksburg has a humid subtropical climate with mild winters and hot, humid summers.

Climate data for Vicksburg, Mississippi (Vicksburg – Tallulah Regional Airport) 1991–2020 normals, extremes 1948–present
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °F (°C)81
(27)
86
(30)
89
(32)
92
(33)
97
(36)
102
(39)
104
(40)
106
(41)
105
(41)
98
(37)
88
(31)
83
(28)
106
(41)
Average high °F (°C)57.2
(14.0)
61.9
(16.6)
69.6
(20.9)
76.9
(24.9)
84.3
(29.1)
90.2
(32.3)
92.6
(33.7)
92.8
(33.8)
88.4
(31.3)
79.1
(26.2)
67.8
(19.9)
59.6
(15.3)
76.7
(24.8)
Daily mean °F (°C)47.6
(8.7)
51.8
(11.0)
59.1
(15.1)
66.2
(19.0)
73.9
(23.3)
80.4
(26.9)
82.8
(28.2)
82.4
(28.0)
77.2
(25.1)
66.6
(19.2)
55.9
(13.3)
49.7
(9.8)
66.1
(18.9)
Average low °F (°C)37.9
(3.3)
41.7
(5.4)
48.7
(9.3)
55.5
(13.1)
63.5
(17.5)
70.6
(21.4)
73.1
(22.8)
72.0
(22.2)
66.1
(18.9)
54.0
(12.2)
44.0
(6.7)
39.7
(4.3)
55.6
(13.1)
Record low °F (°C)−2
(−19)
−12
(−24)
11
(−12)
28
(−2)
37
(3)
47
(8)
54
(12)
52
(11)
34
(1)
22
(−6)
15
(−9)
4
(−16)
−12
(−24)
Average precipitation inches (mm)5.44
(138)
5.11
(130)
5.02
(128)
5.96
(151)
3.85
(98)
3.74
(95)
4.05
(103)
3.75
(95)
3.00
(76)
4.13
(105)
3.92
(100)
5.38
(137)
53.35
(1,355)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in)9.310.19.98.49.59.19.79.46.87.58.710.1108.5
Source: NOAA [28] [29]

Demographics

Historical population
CensusPop.
1850 3,678
1860 4,59124.8%
1870 12,443171.0%
1880 11,814−5.1%
1890 13,37313.2%
1900 14,83410.9%
1910 20,81440.3%
1920 18,072−13.2%
1930 22,94327.0%
1940 24,4606.6%
1950 27,94814.3%
1960 29,1434.3%
1970 25,478−12.6%
1980 25,434−0.2%
1990 20,908−17.8%
2000 26,40726.3%
2010 23,856−9.7%
2020 21,573−9.6%
U.S. Decennial Census [30]
2018 Estimate [31]

2020 census

Vicksburg Racial Composition [32]
RaceNum.Perc.
White 5,97427.69%
Black or African American 14,42366.86%
Native American 270.13%
Asian 2090.97%
Other/Mixed 5372.49%
Hispanic or Latino 4031.87%

As of the 2020 United States Census, there were 21,573 people, 8,969 households, and 4,864 families residing in the city.

2000 census

As of the census of 2000, 26,407 people, 10,364 households, and 6,612 families resided in the city, with a metropolitan population of 49,644. The population density was 803.1 people per square mile (310.1/km2). The 11,654 housing units averaged 354.4 per square mile (136.9/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 60.43% African American, 37.80% White, 0.15% Native American, 0.61% Asian, 0.43% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. Hispanics or Latinos of any race were 1.04% of the population.

Of the 10,364 households, 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.9% were married couples living together, 24.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were not families. About 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the city, the population was distributed as 28.4% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 82.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,466, and for a family was $34,380. Males had a median income of $29,420 versus $20,728 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,174. About 19.3% of families and 23.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.8% of those under age 18 and 16.5% of those age 65 or over.

Economy

In 2017, Emma Green of The Atlantic stated, "The Army Corps of Engineers sustains the town economically". [33]

Casinos

Vicksburg is the home of four casinos along the Mississippi River.

Transportation

The Yazoo and Mississippi Valley Railroad and then the Illinois Central Railroad for several decades had passenger service through the city, at two different stations, one on Levee Street, and the other on Cherry Street. The IC's Planter went north to Memphis, Tennessee and south to New Orleans. The Chery Street station hosted the Northeastern Limited and an unnamed train east to Jackson and Meridian (sleeping car passengers could continue to New York; coach passengers could transfer at Meridian's Union Station to an Atlanta and New York bound train there), and the Southwestern Limited and another train west to Monroe and Shreveport's Union Station. [34] [35] The final train serving Vicksburg was the Southwestern Limited/Northeastern Limited in 1967.

Interstate 20 runs east-west through the southern part of Vicksburg. U.S. Highway 80 runs east-west through the city. U.S. Highway 61 runs north-south through the city.

The nearest airport with commercial flights is Jackson–Medgar Wiley Evers International Airport, 53.2 miles to the east of Vicksburg. Vicksburgh Tallulah Regional Airport and Vicksburg Municipal Airport, to the west and to the south of Vicksburg, are two general aviation airports.

Arts and culture

Annual cultural events

Every summer, Vicksburg plays host to the Miss Mississippi Pageant and Parade. Also every summer, the Vicksburg Homecoming Benevolent Club hosts a homecoming weekend/reunion that provides scholarships to graduating high-school seniors. Former residents from across the country return for the event.

Every spring and summer, Vicksburg Theatre Guild hosts Gold in the Hills, which holds the Guinness World Record for longest-running show.

Places of interest

Government

The city government consists of a mayor who is elected at-large and two aldermembers. The current mayor is George Flaggs Jr., who defeated former mayor Paul Winfield in the June 2013 election. The two aldermembers are elected from single-member districts, known as wards.

The city is home to three large US Army Corps of Engineers installations: the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), which also houses the ERDC's Waterways Experiment Station; the Mississippi Valley Division headquarters; and the Vicksburg District headquarters.

The 412th Engineer Command of the US Army Reserve and the 168th Engineer Brigade of the Mississippi Army National Guard are also located in Vicksburg.

The United States Coast Guard's 8th District/Lower Mississippi River sector has an Aids To Navigation unit located in Vicksburg, operating the buoy tending vessel USCGC Kickapoo. [38]

Education

Mississippi River at Vicksburg Vicksburg-SL2.jpg
Mississippi River at Vicksburg

The City of Vicksburg is served by the Vicksburg-Warren School District.

High schools

Junior high schools

Elementary schools

Private schools

Former schools

Media

Newspapers

Vicksburg Daily News, [40] Vicksburg's only locally owned news source.

The Vicksburg Post, [41] formerly the Vicksburg Evening Post'.

Radio

AM Station

ChannelCallsignFormatOwner
1490 WVBG News/Talk

FM Stations

ChannelCallsignFormatOwner
89.3 WATU Religious
92.7 KSBU Urban Adult Contemporary
97.5 KTJZ Urban Oldies
101.3 WBBV Country
104.5 KLSM Top-40/CHR
105.5 WVBG-FM Classic Hits

Notable people

Cultural references

See also

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The Vicksburg campaign was a series of maneuvers and battles in the Western Theater of the American Civil War directed against Vicksburg, Mississippi, a fortress city that dominated the last Confederate-controlled section of the Mississippi River. The Union Army of the Tennessee under Major General Ulysses S. Grant gained control of the river by capturing this stronghold and defeating Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton's forces stationed there.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mississippi Delta</span> Northwest section of the U.S. state of Mississippi

The Mississippi Delta, also known as the Yazoo–Mississippi Delta, or simply the Delta, is the distinctive northwest section of the U.S. state of Mississippi that lies between the Mississippi and Yazoo Rivers. The region has been called "The Most Southern Place on Earth", because of its unique racial, cultural, and economic history. It is 200 miles (320 km) long and 87 miles (140 km) across at its widest point, encompassing about 4,415,000 acres (17,870 km2), or, almost 7,000 square miles of alluvial floodplain. Originally covered in hardwood forest across the bottomlands, it was developed as one of the richest cotton-growing areas in the nation before the American Civil War (1861–1865). The region attracted many speculators who developed land along the riverfronts for cotton plantations; they became wealthy planters dependent on the labor of enslaved African Americans, who composed the vast majority of the population in these counties well before the Civil War, often twice the number of whites.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Battle of Milliken's Bend</span> Battle of the American Civil War

The Battle of Milliken's Bend was fought on June 7, 1863, as part of the Vicksburg Campaign during the American Civil War. Major General Ulysses S. Grant of the Union Army had placed the strategic Mississippi River city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, under siege in mid-1863. Confederate leadership erroneously believed that Grant's supply line still ran through Milliken's Bend in Louisiana, and Major General Richard Taylor was tasked with disrupting it to aid the defense of Vicksburg. Taylor sent Brigadier General Henry E. McCulloch with a brigade of Texans to attack Milliken's Bend, which was held by a brigade of newly-recruited African American soldiers. McCulloch's attack struck early on the morning of June 7, and was initially successful in close-quarters fighting. Fire from the Union gunboat USS Choctaw halted the Confederate attack, and McCulloch later withdrew after the arrival of a second gunboat. The attempt to relieve Vicksburg was unsuccessful. One of the first actions in which African American soldiers fought, Milliken's Bend demonstrated the value of African American soldiers as part of the Union Army.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Vicksburg National Military Park</span> American Civil War historic site

Vicksburg National Military Park preserves the site of the American Civil War Battle of Vicksburg, waged from March 29 to July 4, 1863. The park, located in Vicksburg, Mississippi, also commemorates the greater Vicksburg Campaign which led up to the battle. Reconstructed forts and trenches evoke memories of the 47-day siege that ended in the surrender of the city. Victory here and at Port Hudson, farther south in Louisiana, gave the Union control of the Mississippi River.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">History of Mississippi</span> History of the US state of Mississippi

The history of the state of Mississippi extends back to thousands of years of indigenous peoples. Evidence of their cultures has been found largely through archeological excavations, as well as existing remains of earthwork mounds built thousands of years ago. Native American traditions were kept through oral histories; with Europeans recording the accounts of historic peoples they encountered. Since the late 20th century, there have been increased studies of the Native American tribes and reliance on their oral histories to document their cultures. Their accounts have been correlated with evidence of natural events.

USS <i>Forest Rose</i> (1862) Gunboat of the United States Navy

USS Forest Rose was a stern wheel steamer in the United States Navy.

USS <i>General Bragg</i> Gunboat of the United States Navy

USS General Bragg was a heavy (1,043-ton) steamer captured by Union Navy forces during the American Civil War. She was outfitted as a U.S. Navy gunboat and was assigned to enforce the Union blockade of the waterways of the Confederate States of America.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mississippi in the American Civil War</span> Overview of the role of the U.S. state of Mississippi during the American Civil War

Mississippi was the second southern state to declare its secession from the United States, doing so on January 9, 1861. It joined with six other southern states to form the Confederacy on February 4, 1861. Mississippi's location along the lengthy Mississippi River made it strategically important to both the Union and the Confederacy; dozens of battles were fought in the state as armies repeatedly clashed near key towns and transportation nodes.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mississippi</span> U.S. state

Mississippi is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the north by Tennessee; to the east by Alabama; to the south by the Gulf of Mexico; to the southwest by Louisiana; and to the northwest by Arkansas. Mississippi's western boundary is largely defined by the Mississippi River. Mississippi is the 32nd largest and 35th-most populous of the 50 U.S. states and has the lowest per-capita income in the United States. Jackson is both the state's capital and largest city. Greater Jackson is the state's most populous metropolitan area, with a population of 591,978 in 2020.

The 11th/17th Consolidated Arkansas Infantry (1861–1865) was a Confederate Army infantry regiment during the American Civil War. The unit is also known as the 11th/17th Arkansas Mounted Infantry or the 11th/17th Arkansas Cavalry. At various times after the consolidation, members of the unit who were captured gave their unit as either the 11th Arkansas Cavalry or the 17th Arkansas Cavalry.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">3rd United States Colored Cavalry Regiment</span> Military unit

The 3rd United States Colored Cavalry was a regiment in the United States Army organized as one of the units of the United States Colored Troops during the American Civil War. The regiment was originally formed in October 1863 at Vicksburg, Mississippi as the 1st Mississippi Cavalry Regiment. The unit soon began taking part in expeditions near Vicksburg. In February–March 1864, the regiment saw action at Yazoo City. After being renamed the 3rd U.S. Colored Cavalry in March 1864, the regiment continued to participate in raids, including the Yazoo City expedition in May. In December 1864, the unit took part in a successful raid led by Benjamin Grierson during which the Battle of Egypt Station and other actions were fought. The regiment operated near Memphis, Tennessee, until April 1865, after which it returned to Vicksburg for occupation duties. The soldiers were mustered out of federal service in January 1866.

References

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Further reading