The following is an exercise in historical role play. The siege of Vicksburg lasted for forty days, ending on July 4, 1863. You will assume the role of either a Confederate soldier in John Pemberton’s Army of Mississippi defending Vicksburg, or a Union soldier in Ulysses Grant’s Army of the Tennessee assaulting the city. Describe, in three letters to your family, the beginning, middle, and end of the siege.
Why did Grant’s attacks on the city’s defenses at Stockade Redan and Graveyard Road (Green’s Redan) fail? Why did McClernand fail at Railroad Redoubt?
How many shells did Grant’s artillery hurl at Vicksburg? What was the situation inside the city and in the Union trenches ?
What forced Pemberton to surrender?
Why is Vicksburg, and not Gettysburg, the decisive battle of the Civil War? Remember to assume a penname commonly found in 19th century America. If you’re a Confederate, what did you do once you were paroled?
Use your sources to back up your ideas. Warning: Article Three, Section Three of the United States Constitution contains a Treason Act. Read it. Use the term “traitor” or “treason” or any synonym for these terms in your paper and you will get a zero for the assignment.