Saturday, December 25, 2010

Message from 1863 delivered

From FoxNews:

A glass vial stopped with a cork during the Civil War has been opened, revealing a coded message to the desperate Confederate commander in Vicksburg on the day the Mississippi city fell to Union forces 147 years ago.

The FoxNews piece talks of Grant's earlier efforts at Vicksburg:

Grant was unsuccessful in defeating Pemberton's troops on two occasions, so the Union commander instead decided to encircle the city and block the flow of supplies or support. [from Wikipedia: When two major assaults (May 19 and May 22, 1863) against the Confederate fortifications were repulsed with heavy casualties, Grant decided to besiege the city beginning on May 25. ]


After a six-week siege, Pemberton relented. Vicksburg, so scarred by the experience, refused to celebrate July 4 for the next 80 years. [No Fourth of July till 1943? Wikipedia: Tradition holds that the Fourth of July holiday was not celebrated by Vicksburg until World War II, because of the surrender of the city on July 4]


"Vigenere cipher"


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