The Turn of the Civil War, Vickburg vs. Gettysburg

Topics: American Civil War, Confederate States of America, Abraham Lincoln Pages: 3 (984 words) Published: May 1, 2012
When most people think about the American Civil War and all its blood filled battles, the most famous battle that comes to mind is Gettysburg. The majority would say it was the most important battle and the turning point of the war, however, that is not the case. The turning point of the Civil War occurred in the spring of 1863 with the Battle over Vicksburg. Vicksburg was the key to success for the side who claimed victory and when the Union did just that, the war was changed from that point forward. Victory by the Union at Vicksburg gained full control of the Mississippi River, split off the state of Texas from the rest of the South, and also ended any concern of an attack in the West. When the South seceded from the Union they took the most profitable natural factor with them, the Mississippi River. The Mississippi River was very important to each side because it allowed the trading of goods and supplies all around the nation, and around the world as well as travel from the north to the south. Whoever had control over the river would have a distinct advantage right away. President Abraham Lincoln recognized this and even spoke to Union military leaders about it. Lincoln said, "...what a lot of land these fellows hold, of which Vicksburg is the key! The war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket.... We can take all the northern ports of the Confederacy, and they can defy us from Vicksburg." Unless the Union army were to be invincible in all other battles, which was not the case at all, Vicksburg would prove to be the key to victory. Vicksburg, Mississippi was located directly in the middle of the Confederacy. In addition to containing the largest river in the nation, it held an even bigger strategic location that could greatly effect the South. Vicksburg broke the Confederacy into halves, and inflicted a gash that would ultimately prove whether the Union would win the war. The Confederates at Vicksburg lost what they could not...

Bibliography: Isbell, Timothy T.. Vicksburg: sentinels of stone. Jackson: University Press of Mississippi, 2006. Print.

Lincoln, Abraham, and Michael P. Johnson. Abraham Lincoln, slavery, and the Civil War: selected writings and speeches. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin 's, 2001. Print.
McPherson, James M.. Ordeal by fire: the Civil War and Reconstruction. 3rd ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill, 2001. Print.
Meek, A. J., and Herman Hattaway. Gettysburg to Vicksburg: the five original Civil War battlefield parks. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 2001. Print.
Wheeler, Richard. Gettysburg 1863: campaign of endless echoes. New York: Plume, 1999. Print.
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