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 Posted: Sun Sep 21st, 2008 08:55 pm
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Captain Crow
Proud Southerner


Joined: Sun Jul 13th, 2008
Location: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma USA
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Actually Vicksburg was very important from a logistical point of view.
A look at the rankings of the states west of the Mississippi regarding production of various important agricultural items reveals just how much the South lost when Vicksburg fell.
these figures come from the Preliminary report on the eight census 1860:

Arkansas:
7th in molasses
10th in asses and mules
Louisiana:
1st in cane sugar
1st in cane molasses (7/8 of all U.S. production)
Texas:
1st in working oxen
1st in domestic cattle
1st in sheep
3rd in horses
4th in milk cows
4th in asses and mules
7th in swine
these states also combine to produce more than 50,000,000 bushels of Indian corn, 2,000,000 bushels of wheat, 5,000,000 bushels of sweet potatoes, and 11,000,000 pounds of butter.
In addition at the time of the aforementioned census only eight states produced salt. Only two were confederate: Texas and Virginia. Texas produced 120,000 bushels of salt annually.
Why was sugar/molasses so important? It was increasingly used as a form of currency. Want to purchase some meat from Florida or Tennessee for the AoNV? That will be one pound of sugar per pound of meat. Through what city/rail link did most of this sugar pass? Vicksburg. Want some Texas beef? Want some salt to preserve the meat regardless of whence it came? Want some rifles/powder/caps/uniforms smuggled from England via Mexico? Good luck without Vicksburg.
Confederate artillery captured during the Vicksburg campaign: 254 cannon(85 heavy siege guns)= more than 11% of all guns cast by the Confederacy for the entire war.
Confederate artillery captured at Gettysburg: 0

And of course there are many direct quotes from Lincoln, Davis, Grant , Sherman, Halleck, and many other prominent figures of the war voicing their almost universal declaration of Vicksburg's essential strategic importance.

Keep in mind as well that I am a huge Gettysburg fan. But after doing much objective study on the subject I must concede that Gettysburg pales in strategic significance compared to Vicksburg. Unfortunately because it is in the western theater it has never gotten the proportionate amount of attention it is due. Nor did it receive the same amount of press coverage rendered Gettysburg at the time of the respective campaigns. I fear this is the common treatment of much of the western theater.

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