Why did McClernand fail at Railroad Redoubt? How many shells did Grant’s artillery hurl at Vicksburg?


The following is an exercise in historical role play. The siege of Vicksburg lasted for forty days, ending on July 4, 1863. You will assume the role of either a Confederate soldier in John Pemberton’s Army of Mississippi defending Vicksburg, or a Union soldier in Ulysses Grant’s Army of the Tennessee assaulting the city.

Describe, in three letters to your family, the beginning, middle, and end of the siege. Why did Grant’s attacks on the city’s defenses at Stockade Redan and Graveyard Road (Green’s Redan) fail?

Why did McClernand fail at Railroad Redoubt? How many shells did Grant’s artillery hurl at Vicksburg?

What was the situation inside the city and in the Union trenches ?

What forced Pemberton to surrender? Why is Vicksburg, and not Gettysburg, the decisive battle of the Civil War?

Remember to assume a pen name commonly found in 19th century America. If you’re a Confederate, what did you do once you were paroled?

Use your sources to back up your ideas. Warning: Article Three, Section Three of the United States Constitution contains a Treason Act. Read it. Use the term “traitor” or “treason” or any synonym for these terms in your paper and you will get a zero for the assignment. Special Discussion Questions should be answered in essay form, providing the type of depth and detail expected in a research paper. You should take the time to explain complicated concepts in a thorough and thoughtful manner.

Remember, you need to demonstrate an understanding of events–not only in terms of what happened but also why it happened and what effect it had on society. Stay on target—answer each question as fully as possible and don’t wander off the subject. DO NOT use quotes I want to read your writing, not someone else’s. Read your sources and then write your essay in your own words. Be sure to cite your sources at the end of your posting. DO NOT use endnotes, footnotes, or any other form of source citation within the body of your post. Also, do not use phrases such as “According to Jones,…” because I count those as a form of in-text citation.