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Grant's Vicksburg Victory Medal

Grant's Vicksburg Victory Medal

Catalog #: 3000    Accession #: 18528.0004
Credit: Armed Forces History, Division of History of Technology, National Museum of American History

Dimensions / Weight

Dimensions: 8.5" H x 7" W x 6" D

Physical Description

Presentation box of ebony and gold with commemorative medal of well over a pound of gold. On the obverse is a bust of Ulysses S. Grant to left with legend, "MAJOR GENERAL ULYSSES S. GRANT / JOINT RESOLUTION OF CONGRESS / DECEMBER 17. 1863" Thirteen stars and an ornate wreath surround the design.

Specific History

This Presentation medal was given to General Ulysses S. Grant in commemoration of his victories during the Vicksburg Campaign. It was presented by the Congress of the United States.

General History

Both the North and the South saw Vicksburg as the lynchpin to victory in the war. President Abraham Lincoln said: "Vicksburg is the key. The war can never be brought to a close until the key is in our pocket," Confederate President Jefferson Davis said: "Vicksburg is the nail head that holds the South's two halves together." On 22 May 1863 Grant sent brigades from three corps of the army to assault the city. While the assault showed some success, a long bitter struggle ensued and the Confederates quickly restored their original lines of defense. The Union army suffered 3,199 casualties, while the Confederates lost less than 500 men. Realizing that the city could not be taken by assault, Grant ordered his engineers to begin siege operations. The siege cut off all supplies going into the city and the constant hammering of siege artillery drove many of the citizens into caves dug into the hillsides. The siege finally ended when on July 4, 1863, Pemberton surrendered the town to Grant, thus sealing the fate of the Confederate States of America.


Keywords

Country: United States
War: Civil War
Service: Army
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