Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Vicksburg Campaign-The Fortress Surrenders

On July 7, 1863, Secretary of the Navy Gideon Welles received the following telegram from the Office of the U.S. Military Telegraph at the War Department:

"From U.S. Miss Squadron, Flagship Blackhawk

Hon. Gideon Welles Secretary Navy

Sir, I have the honor to inform you that Vicksburg has surrendered to the U.S. Forces on this 4th of July.

Very Respectfully, Your Obedient Servt D.D. Porter Acting Rear Admiral."

In a more complete report to Welles, Porter noted that the Navy's mortar boats fired over 7,000 shells at Vicksburg; the ships fired about 4,500 shells from their direct fire weapons with an additional 4,500 fired from Navy guns on shore. On top of that, the Navy provided 6,000 shells to the Army. He also commented that "the capture of Vicksburg leaves us a large army and naval force free to act all along the river. The effect of this blow will be felt far up the tributaries of the Mississippi."

Upon hearing the news, President Lincoln is to have said "The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea."

The Navy Memorial at Vicksburg National Military Park

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