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For Jefferson Davis and his confederates, the twin defeats at Gettysburg and Vicksburg combined to spell doom for the Rebel cause. Writing in his diary during those canicular days was Confederate General Josiah Gorgas (1818 1883: pictured at right) who succinctly summarized the meaning of these two major defeats:

"Events have succeeded one another with disastrous rapidity. One brief month ago we were apparently at the point of success. Lee was in Pennsylvania, threatening Harrisburg, and even Philadelphia. Vicksburg seemed to laugh all Grant's efforts to scorn... All looked bright. Now the picture is just as somber as it was bright then. Lee failed at Gettysburg .... Vicksburg and Port Hudson capitulated, surrendering thirty-five thousand arms. It seems incredible that human power could effect such a change in so brief a space. Yesterday we rode on the pinnacle of success; today absolute ruin seems to be our portion. The Confederacy totters to its destruction."

Click here to read more about the Battle of Gettysburg.


1863: A Poor Summer for the Rebels (National Park Service, 1954)

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