1863 was the pivotal year of the American Civil War. The Union army, sensing victory, tried to deal a knockout blow to the Confederacy by taking control of the Mississippi River. After New Orleans fell to the Union, the city of Vicksburg remained as the last Confederate holdout on the big river. On May 18, 1963, 3200 Union troops arrived off the coast of Vicksburg and demanded an immediate surrender. But Confederate leaders refused, and the Union laid siege to the city. A month of heavy bombardment ensued.
On June 17, city residents spotted the first zombie, and within days, dozens were wandering about. This development hardly worried the 30,000 Confederate troops protecting the city; they entertained themselves by conducting target practice on the zombies. But with their supply lines cut off, the Confederate troops soon ran out of ammunition, and the zombies kept coming. To this day, Southerners claim that the Union let the zombie plague continue out of pure malice. In any case, when Union forces entered the city on July 3, hundreds of zombies were roaming the streets, many in Confederate Army uniforms. The Union soldiers had to do killing and they quickly found out that zombies, unlike soldiers, do not surrender. In the end, an estimated 2000 people were infected and destroyed at Vicksburg, almost as many as were killed in the Battle of Bull Run.