Vicksburg: the well-defended citadelBehind these fortifications Pemberton, driven from the Big Black River, gathered his twenty-one thousand troops to make the last stand for the saving of the Mississippi to the Confederacy. In the upper picture we see Fort Castle, one of the strongest defenses of the Confederacy. It had full sweep of the river; here “Whistling Dick” (one of the most powerful guns in possession of the South) did deadly work. In the lower picture we see the fortifications to the east of the town, before which Grant's army was now entrenching. When Vicksburg had first been threatened in 1862, the Confederate fortifications had been laid out and work begun on them in haste with but five hundred spades, many of the soldiers delving with their bayonets. The sites were so well chosen and the work so well done that they had withstood attacks for a year. They were to hold out still longer. By May 18th the Federals had completely invested Vicksburg, and Grant and Sherman rode out to Haynes' Bluff to view the open river to the north, down which abundant supplies were now coming for the army. Sherman, who had not believed that the plan could succeed, frankly acknowledged his mistake. But the Mississippi was not yet theirs. Sherman, assaulting the fortifications of Vicksburg, the next day, was repulsed. A second attack, on the 22d, failed and on the 25th Grant settled down to starve Pemberton out.