Mississippi’s Role in America’s Bloodiest Conflict – Part 3

Important Sites of the Civil War

Many towns and sites across Mississippi played host to important battles and stations of the Civil War. The state was seen as a crucial point to gain an advantage for the Union in the South due to its central location amongst the Confederacy as well as its placement, connected to the Mississippi River.

Now the capital of Mississippi, Jackson was at the time a town with a relatively small population. It also played host to the confederate forces as a centre for manufacturing until May 13, 1863 when Union forced took the town for the first time. Key facilities in the town were burned and looted under the orders of William Tecumseh Sherman and once confederate forces had been driven out the troops left here and began the Battle of Vicksburg. Once the Union marched on Vicksburg, Confederacy forces retook Jackson in a hope to keep their foothold in the area however after what is now known as they again lost, losing the area for good.

Vicksburg is the site of the most important battle of the American Civil War; it was the last major stronghold for the Confederacy along the Mississippi River, to take this town would effectively split the confederacy into two separate sides and cut off any communication between the two. This of course gained a dramatic advantage for the Union forces and is widely regarded as the decisive victory of the war itself. The area is now maintained as part of the Vicksburg National Military Park; visitors can go and learn all about the Vicksburg campaign and the Civil War through a series of monuments, historic earthworks and trenches and artefacts that every fan of history simply must see.

An extremely important sight for the Union was the town of Greensburg, noted as a “breadbasket”, providing food, supplies and horses to their cause. It was also a target of General Frederick Steele’s Expedition. It’s goals was to use Deer Creek not far from here both as a route to Vicksburg and a means to cause mayhem amongst the enemy troops, guerrilla forces and landowners loyal to the confederacy. It was also during this expedition that the first black regiments were formed made up of slaves that had escaped local plantations or been extracted from them by the Union. Most crucially Greensburg was one of the main suppliers of Vicksburg, taking it would be key to controlling the Mississippi. Its subjects weren’t exactly happy with the Union takeover and many aided confederacy forces in attempts to reclaim the town. As a result almost every building in the town was burned to the ground leaving only one house and a church left.

There is no doubt that Mississippi was an extremely important site during the Civil War for both sides. It played host to many of its most important battles, it’s most influential people and even played a major role in starting the entire affair. There are many sites that you can visit today and it’s a great place to learn all about the birth of civil rights along with the bloodiest war in the USA’s Military History.