Saturday, September 11, 2010

Battle of Vicksburg

The Union victory at Gettysburg was big, it showed that the Union could and would defend its own land. Morale was getting a boost, this was a turning point for the Union, but still...Lincoln was a bit upset.

While Lincoln is frustrated in the East, Ulysses S. Grant is still cleaning up house in the West.

Ok, not like that...

Grant was in Vicksburg, Mississippi, this would prove to be a little difficult.

The easiest way in to the town was via the Mississippi River, which the Confederates had heavily guarded.

Grant decides to have his troops ferried in from Louisiana, they would attack from the west, no one expected this.

Grant and his men attacked, because all of the Confederates were concentrating on was the river, they were not prepared. They took all the people along the river to combat the attacking Union.

Because of the Confederates move, Union boats were able to attack from the once impenetrable river.

Vicksburg was cut off completely from the rest of the country, citizens made make shift homes in the hills and resorted to eating rats.

This was a pretty much hopeless situation for the Confederates, so they surrendered.

Other key Union victories in the West were at Chattanooga, the Battle of Pea Ridge, and the Battle of Glorieta Pass.

By fall of 1863, the Union had control of the Mississippi, thousands of slaves left the south and morale was at an all time low in the south. However, it wasn't over yet...

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Battle of Gettysburg

On the first day of battle, the Confederates seemed to have the upper hand in this fight.

*Stick people hands sort of look like various farm implements.

On the second day, the Confederates had a lot of the key positions on the battlefield. Every time the Union would advance, they would be pushed back.

By July 3rd, Lee was feeling pretty good about the situation. He decided that General Meade's line was weak, and an all out assault should be done in order to take out the Union.

Meade, however, sort of had a feeling that Lee would try this, so he was prepared.

The final day of battle in Gettysburg took place on July 4th. The big event of the day was known as Pickett's Charge.

Imagine a huge game of Red Rover, but with guns, cannons, and bayonets....Ok, don't imagine that, its extremely horrifying.

On July 4, at 3 in the afternoon we find the two armies on Cemetery Ridge. An artillery duel was occurring.

All of a sudden, the Union guns went silent. The Confederate General, George Pickett, believed the Union artillery had been knocked out and led his soldiers on a charge.

This, was a terrible idea.

As soon as the Confederates started charging, the Union artillery started firing.

It was sort of like shooting fish in a barrel, which does not sound the least bit fun...

Pickett had lost half of his 13,000 men he led on the charge.

Lee felt absolutely terrible at the decision he made for an all out assault. He took the blame.

Lee told his men to brace for another attack, but it never came. Meade didn't act and the Confederates slipped out of Pennsylvania and went back to Virginia.

When it was all over, the Union suffered 23,000 casualties and the Confederates 28,000.