Part of the front page of a facsimile of 'The Daily Citizen', Vicksburg, 2 July 1863. [NLS shelfmark: H.S.383(11)]
Due to the wartime shortage of newsprint paper, six editions of 'The Daily Citizen' were printed on wallpaper, the last of which, on 2 July, almost did not make it to press.
Vicksburg, on the banks of the Mississippi River, was a key Confederate city. President Davis had instructed it be held at all costs.
Taking his troops along the Union-held Louisiana side of the Mississippi, General Grant reached Vicksburg and besieged the city, which fell after six weeks.
Note, 4 July 1863
Union forces found the type of 'The Daily Citizen' still standing, abandoned by the publisher. They printed the issue, adding the 'Note':
'Two days bring about great changes. The banner of the Union floats over Vicksburg. Gen. Grant has "caught the rabbit:" […] The "Citizen" lives to see it. For the last time it appears on "Wall-paper." No more will it eulogize the luxury of mule-meat and fricassed kitten […] This is the last wall-paper edition, and is, excepting this note, from the types as we found them. It will be valuable hereafter as a curiosity.'
Poignantly, this newspaper gives voice to Confederate assertions of strength and victory as well as Union. In the second column, it states:
'Our brave men under Lee are striking terror to the heart of all Yankeedom. Like the Scottish chieftain’s braves, Lee's men are springing up from moor and brake, crag and dale, with flashing steel and sturdy arm, ready to do or die in the great cause of national independence, right and honor.'
This item featured in our American Civil War display, 'Yankee cries and Rebel yells', at the Library from 21 January to 29 March 2015.