Grant's March Map included
Winter Quarters, the country home of Haller and JuliaNutt, is the only plantation home along Lake Saint Joseph that survived the Vicksburg campaign. The Nutts wereUnion sympathizers who offered hospitality to Unionsoldiers at Winter Quarters. I return they recieved "lettersof protection" from Ulysses S. Grant, which spared theirhome from the devastation levied by advancing Uniontroops under the orders of General William T. Sherman. Union army stragglers later destroyed many of the out-buildings, leaving only the main structure standing.
Following the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in January 1863, the United States Colored Troops were formed(Picture included)
and hundreds of thousands of blacks served. Poorly trainedand poorly armed, the African Brigade was guarding theUnion supply depot at Milliken's Bend when it came under Confederate attack. Reports of this skirmish indicate thatthe black soldiers engaged the Confederates in hand-to-hand combat with bayonet and clubbed muskets, success-fully defending the outpost. Their service to the Union inguarding supply bases allowed many white troops to carryon with the siege of Vicksburg.
Vicksburg National Military Park
The Louisiana Monument stands on Confederate Avenue in Vicksburg National Military Park. The monumentconsists of an 81-foot high Doric column topped by abrazier of granite with an eternal flame, and standson the highest point in the park. A list of organizationsinvolved in the Campaign and Siege of Vicksburgappears on its base with "Louisiana" displayed onthe front. Construction begun on July 10, 1919, andthe memorial was dedicated on October 18, 1920.Louisiana Governor John M. Parker later transferredownership of the memorial to the Federal government.
In June 1862, Union troops under Brigadier GeneralThomas Williams began to dig a canal across the base ofDe Soto Point, opposite Vicksburg, in hopes of bypassingthe city's Confederate batteries. Sickness and disease,unrelenting heat, and an uncooperative river that seemed todrop more rapidly than the soldiers could dig continuallyplagued the efforts. In just a few short weeks, the wearysoldiers withdrew. However, in January 1863, work on thecanal was resumed by troops under the command of MajorGeneral Ulysses S. Grant whose troops were ultimatelyfoiled by heavy rains and flood waters that broke through thelevee and inundated the area. With the death toll risingdaily, Grant eventually abandoned the canal and embarkedon new strategies to capture Vicksburg and gain control ofthe Mississippi River. (Picture included)
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Life Under Occupation
In an excerpt from Brokenburn, KateStone (Picture included) wrote, "We have been on a strict warfooting for some time — cornbread, and home-raised meal,milk and butter, tea once a day, and coffee never. A year agowe would have considered it impossible to get on for a daywithout the things that we have been doing without formonths... Clothes have become a secondary consideration...just to be decently clad is all we expect. In proportion thatwe have been waited-on people, we are ready to do awaywith all the forms and work and wait on ourselves."
Governor Thomas Overton Moore called upon the citizensof Louisiana to destroy cotton crops, also known as "whitegold,"(picture included) where Union occupation was adanger. In order to keep this valuable commodity out ofthe hands of the Union army the crops were set ablaze insacrificial bonfires. Burning cotton crops was consideredan act of loyalty to the Confederacy and since plantationmanagement during the war was often left to the women,it was their oppertunity to actively participate in theConfederate cause.