"The great objective of the war in the West - the opening of the Mississippi River and the severing of the Confederacy - had been realized with the fall of Vicksburg."
"On July 9 , the Confederate commander at Port Hudson, upon learning of the fall of Vicksburg, surrendered his garrison of 6,000 men. One week later the merchant steamboat Imperial tied up at the wharf at New Orleans, completing the 1,000-mile passage from St. Louis undisturbed by hostile guns. After two years of land and naval warfare, the Mississippi River was open, the grip of the South had been broken, and merchant and military traffic had now a safe avenue to the gulf of Mexico. In the words of Lincoln:
"The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea".