Presentation on theme: "Vicksburg Civilian Life. Vicksburg during the Civil War Approximate population of 5,000 As Pemberton’s army came into Vicksburg, many civilians tried."— Presentation transcript:
Vicksburg Civilian Life
Vicksburg during the Civil War Approximate population of 5,000 As Pemberton’s army came into Vicksburg, many civilians tried to leave, but the withdrawing Confederate army and the advancing Federal army clogged or blocked most roads The civilians trapped inside Vicksburg would be subjected to shelling, hunger, and difficult living conditions THE CITY OF VICKSBURG Harper’s Weekly
Vicksburg During the Siege Several women wrote very descriptive diaries of their experiences –Emma Balfour –Mary Ann Loughborough Emma Balfour
Wife of Dr. William Balfour; lived in house next door to Pemberton’s headquarters Remained in house rather than living in a cave “We have slept scarcely none now for two days and two nights. Oh! It is dreadful…. [E]very shell… came rushing down like some infernal demon…” –Excerpt from diary Pemberton’s Headquarters
Balfour House Shell damage
Mary Ann Loughborough Originally from Missouri –Fled south after pro-secession efforts failed in Missouri –Lived in Oxford, Jackson, and Vicksburg Wife of Confederate captain James Loughborough Took refuge in a cave and wrote My Cave Life in Vicksburg
Vicksburg Caves Caves varied from simple one- room abodes or multi-room suites. Contained parlors and bedrooms that were furnished with items from home Most cooking was done outside the main cave entrance. Sometimes there were connecting openings from one family cave to another for escape purposes in case an artillery shell caused the earth to crumble.
Loughborough’s Cave “Our new habitation was an excavation made in the earth, and branching six feet from the entrance, forming a cave in the shape of a T. In one of the wings my bed fitted; the other I used as a kind of dressing room; in this the earth had been cut down a foot or two below the floor of the main cave; I could stand erect there; and when tired of sitting in other portions of my residence, I bowed myself into it, and stood impassively resting at full height– one of the variations in the still shell-expectant life.” –My Cave Life in Vicksburg, 53.
Loughborough’s Cave “Our quarters were close, indeed; yet I was more comfortable than I expected I could have been made under the earth in that fashion.” –My Cave Life in Vicksburg, 54. Recreation of a cave displayed at the Vicksburg National Military Park
Loughborough’s Cave “Our policy in building had been to face directly away from the river. All caves were prepared, as near as possible, in this manner. As the fragments of shells continued with the same impetus after the explosion, in but one direction, onward, they were not likely to reach us, fronting in this manner with their course.”
Cave Life The caves did their job very well – during the siege less than 20 civilians were killed by the bombardment. Mr. Tom Lewis standing in front of a cave on Grove Street, Circa 1890’s.
Activity Between shellings, Vicksburg came to life Pedestrians ventured out of their caves and tried to live normally Because water was scarce, collecting it from ditches and mudholes was an important activity Another pleasant diversion during interludes in the shelling was cooking outdoors
Rationing At the time Pemberton surrendered, there were still ample supplies, but rations had been cut to make food last longer –Toward the end of the siege, the daily ration was “two common biscuits, two rashers (slices) of bacon, a few peas and a spoon full of rice...” –Eventually mule meat was issued in place of bacon “I am gratified to say it was found by officers and men not only nutritious, but very palatable, and [in] every way preferable to poor beef.” (John Pemberton) Both soldiers and non-combatants in Vicksburg lost weight, became dehydrated, and suffered from severe malnutrition SOUP Mule Tail BOILED Mule Bacon with Poke Greens Mule Ham Canvassed ROASTS Mule Sirloin Mule Rump Stuffed with Rice VEGETABLES Peas and Rice ENTREES Mule Head Stuffed Ala Mode Mule Beef Jerked Ala Mexicana Mule Ears Fricasseed Ala Gotch Mule Hide Stewed New Style Laid On Mule Spare Ribs Plain Mule Liver Hashed SIDE DISHES Mule Salad Mule Hoof Soused JELLIES Mule Foot PASTRY Pea Meal Pudding Blackberry Sause Cotton Seed Pies China Berry Tarts DESERT White Oak Acorns Beech Nuts Blackberry Leaf Tea Genuine Confederate Coffee
Medical Situation Many houses, like Cedar Grove, became hospitals Of the 29,500 men Pemberton surrendered, 5,700 were hospital patients Cedar Grove still has a cannon ball lodged in its parlor
Vicksburg Citizens Learned to Improvise The July 2, 1863 edition of The Daily Citizen was printed on wallpaper
Civilian Response to Surrender Alice Shannon wrote to her sister that she could see “that hateful [US] flag flying from the Court House Hill.” Surrendering on Independence Day was seen by many as proof of Pemberton’s disloyalty –Vicksburg would not celebrate the Fourth of July for the next 82 years (until two months after the V-E Day in World War II) Alice Shannon
Sieges Today? What do our current law of land warfare and rules of engagement imply about Vicksburg- like sieges?
Sarajevo Judges at the Hague war crimes tribunal jailed Stanislav Galic, a former Bosnian Serb general, for 20 years Dec 5, 2003 for deliberately shelling and shooting civilians during the siege of Sarajevo in the Bosnian war.
Iraq One official at the Pentagon said that a siege of Baghdad is likely but that its aim would be to break the will of the regime -- not of the majority of the residents. “This will not be Vicksburg,” the official said, referring to a nearly two-month siege of the city in Mississippi during the Civil War. “It’s not Sherman’s march to the sea. We do not want to destroy the people's resources, and we don't want to break their will. We will surround the city, and Gen. Franks will take the city on his terms and on his schedule.” –“Troops Reach Baghdad’s Airport,” Geoffrey Mohan and Tony Perry, Los Angeles Times