Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Vicksburg
VICKSBURG, a city of the United States and the county seat of Warren county, Mississippi, the largest and most important city in the State, stands on the bluffs, on the east bank of the Mississippi, nearly midway between Memphis and New Orleans. It is situated in the midst of the most fertile cotton region of the country, and is one of the principal inland shipping ports of that staple. Its means of communication, besides the river, embrace three important railroad systems. The city has some manufacturing industries, particularly of lumber and cotton-seed oil and cake. The population in 1880 was 11,814, showing a slight decrease since 1870; and in 1888 it was estimated at 18,000. Nearly one-half of the population were coloured.
Prior to the Civil War Vicksburg was an important river port, having in 1860 a population of 4591. Its growth had, however, been slow. During the war it became a very strong strategic point, as it controlled the navigation of the Mississippi, and a contest for its possession was waged for several months with heavy loss of life. Finally General Grant captured it in 1863, and with it the Confederate army of General Pemberton, numbering 27,000 men. For a few years after the war the city gained rapidly in population and importance.