Situated on a bluff above the Mississippi River, Vicksburg represented a key strategic location. In the fall of 1862, Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant initiated a campaign to capture Vicksburg. Grant eventually moved his Army of the Tennessee past the city, landed to the south and won several battles as he moved overland. Grant reached the city by the end of May and laid siege. The Confederates surrendered on July 4, 1863. Grant's capture of the city placed the Mississippi Valley in Union control.