Civil War Trust Animated Map: Vicksburg

Many consider the 1862 siege at Vicksburg to be the turning point of the American Civil War. Learn more about the necessity of Vicksburg for both the Confederacy and the Union — and the importance of its conquest on July 4, 1862 — with a detailed video and animated map.

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CCSS: Adaptable
Instructional Ideas

  • Have a reference page or whiteboard list of prominent officers, locations, and battles for class members to check during the video
  • Encourage learners to imagine how the rest of the war would have unfolded had General Grant failed to secure Vicksburg
  • Prompt individuals to write letters and journal entries from the perspectives of Vicksburg citizens during the siege, or from Grant's or Pemberton's point of view during the surrender discussion
  • Assign an argument paper in which learners discuss whether the Battle of Vicksburg or the Battle of Gettysburg was more influential in turning the war around for the Union
Classroom Considerations

  • Video is over 20 minutes long; consider breaking it up to maintain pupil interest and to address any questions that arise
  • Does not provide background knowledge of the Civil War, including the battles and events that led to Vicksburg or information about specific military officers
  • Intricate detail of the battle tactics and strategies may confuse learners who are not as familiar with the Civil War
  • Comment section is open to the public and includes many strong opinions
Pros

  • Sophisticated map movements allow viewers to visualize the big picture of the battle in the context of the Civil War
  • Successfully portrays the historical drama and tension at Vicksburg prior to the Confederate surrender
Cons

  • None