About the Crewmen

Crewmen Sorted by Regiment (pdf)

Notes on the Ram

Casualty Reports

Official Reports

"The Wind of Cannon Balls"



Friends of the Arkansas

The Arkansas in Art

The Arkansas in Poetry

Personal Letters




Federal Ships
at Vicksburg

Specifications of
the Arkansas

Notes on

Bibliograpy and Abbreviations


Rebel Defenses of Vicksburg, Miss

"... by fortifying the entire range from Vicksburg to Haine's bluff. These fortifications consisted of an abatis in front of the bluffs averaging one mile in width. At the foot of the bluff they had rifle pits the entire way. Above the rifle pits, and in the face of the bluff they had constructed batteries mounting one gun each, at short intervals all the way along. On the summit of the bluffs they had thrown up earthworks which could cover field artillery when brought into action at any of the points on the line. Thus the entire ranges of hills were one complete bristling fortification, dangerous to approach and difficult to capture, which were held by the armies of Price and Pemberton who amounted to 50,000 troops, with 160 guns in battery."

This map, dated December 1862, shows Vicksburg and environs after the initial and unsuccessful siege by the Federals and before Grant's siege of the city. Note the two railroads, the Vicksburg and Texas and the Vicksburg and Jackson lines. Desoto peninsular, across the river from Vicksburg, is a bit misshapen but is identifiable. The Library of Congress names the contributor of this map as Robert Knox Sneden (1832-1918) and calls this map a "diary image."



This 1863 map of the Yazoo Basin below shows the extensive tributary system through which the Federals tried to reach Vicksburg to avoid traveling the Mississippi River. Note Vicksburg at the bottom of the map and Yazoo City above it.  Liverpool and Sartartia are between the two. It was at Sartartia that the Confederates had the raft across the river to keep out the enemy boats. After the Arkansas was completed at Yazoo City, the raft was opened to allow the ram access to the Mississippi River.,-0.082,3.048,1.54,0


This 1863 map was drawn "under the direction of Rear Admiral D. D. Porter U.S. Navy." Porter was familiar with the area, having been in Vicksburg for the First Siege in 1862. There are several points of interest on this map but one is missing (or not identified) and that is the cemetery of 600 Federal graves of those who died in June and July 1862.


In July of 1862, while on the Arkansas at Vicksburg, Lt. Dabney Minor Scales drew a map in his letter to his father.

"In order that you may more fully understand how Vicksburg was shelled
by hidden mortar boats and also how the fleets lay around the city, I will
give you a rough sketch of the lay of the land around the city_"

Note in the center of this map the "mortar fleet in position for shelling" hidden on the back
of the Desoto peninsula.



Use back button to return.