Midpoint of the War: May to July 1863

Small Towns in a Big War

How many men were in and around Vicksburg?

The Confederates knew that Grant intended to take the fortress, and they had almost 30,000 men either at Vicksburg or close enough that they could be summoned. When compared to the civilian population of about six thousand, this force seemed enormous.

General John Pemberton was commander at Vicksburg, but the forces deployed to the east and south were under the command of Joseph E. Johnston, who had by now recovered from the wound he suffered during the Seven Days’ Battles. The negative, so far as the Confederacy was concerned, was that neither of these men specialized in seizing opportunity when it came: both of them were natural defensive fighters.


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