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 Posted: Mon Sep 22nd, 2008 01:26 am
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ole
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Thanks for the list Captain. Now a question: during that census year, how much of that enormous volume crossed the Mississippi and into what was to become the eastern Confederacy without the intercession of ferries, steamboats and seagoing vessels?

What went through Vicksburg went downriver to New Orleans. What went through Memphis went downriver to New Orleans. The traffic from across the river on that piddly railroad to Monroe was not nearly enough provide the supply the eastern Confederacy required.

By May, 1863, even that was cut off by infantry on the western bank of the river. The only real importance Vicksburg had was that it still blocked ships using the Mississippi. It had very little value as a point of transshipment.

Perhaps its real value was in that of its symbolism. St. Louis, Memphis and New Orleans were firmly in Union hands; only Vicksurg remained before demonstrably splitting the already-split Confederacy. (The southern and northern citizen was not likely looking at Vicksburg in that way; it looked like the great victory it was -- although for different reasons, Grant and Sherman were doubtlessly pleased.)

Just a thought.

ole

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