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Definition: Vicksburg from Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary

City, county seat of Warren co., W Mississippi, on Mississippi River 40 mi. (64 km.) W of Jackson; pop. (2000c) 26,407; river port and railroad center; tourism; many antebellum homes; U.S. Army Corps of Engineers experiment station. Settled first by the French 1719, later c. 1790 by the Spanish; American settlement began early 19th cent.; during Civil War besieged 1862–63; final siege operations Apr.–June 1863, captured July 4 by Union forces under Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, securing Union control of the Mississippi River. See chickasaw bayou.

Summary Article: Vicksburg
From The Columbia Encyclopedia

city (1990 pop. 20,908), seat of Warren co., W Miss., on bluffs above the Mississippi River at the mouth of the Yazoo; inc. 1825. An important port, it is the commercial, processing, and shipping center for a cotton, timber, and livestock area. There is petroleum refining and food processing; Vicksburg's many manufactures include asphalt; wood, metal, plastic, paper, and rubber products; apparel; mobile homes; heating equipment; tubing and pipes; and fertilizers.

There was a French fort nearby in the early 18th cent., and the Spanish established Fort Nogales in 1791. The area came into U.S. possession in 1798. Vicksburg became a busy river port, and in the Civil War it was a major objective in Grant's Vicksburg campaign. The city fell July 4, 1863, after 14 months of naval shelling, 7 months of land assault, and 47 days of total siege. River traffic, which fell off greatly in the late 19th and early 20th cent., has been aided by the U.S. Mississippi River Commission, whose headquarters are at Vicksburg. Nearby is the U.S. Waterways Experiment Station. Sections of the city were flooded in Apr., 1973.

Antebellum homes are in the city and the surrounding area. In Vicksburg National Military Park (see National Parks and Monuments, table) are preserved trenches and fortifications of the Civil War siege. North of the city is a national cemetery containing Civil War dead, including c.13,000 unknown Union soldiers brought from temporary burial places all over the South.

The Columbia Encyclopedia, © Columbia University Press 2018

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