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#111: Victory at Vicksburg Splits the Confederacy

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Welcome to THE MAKING OF A NATION -- American history in VOA Special English.

In eighteen sixty-three, Union forces defeated Confederate forces in the bloodiest battle of the American Civil War -- the Battle of Gettysburg. Soon after that, the Union won another important victory, seizing Vicksburg, Mississippi.

This week in our series, Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe continue our story of the Civil War with the Battle of Vicksburg.

1863年,在美国南北战争最惨烈的一场战役--葛底斯堡战役中,北方军队击败南方军队。此后没过多久,北军又夺取了密西西比的维克斯堡,再传捷报,今天我们就来回顾这段历史。

VOICE ONE:

Abraham Lincoln in 1863
Abraham Lincoln in 1863

In November eighteen sixty-three, President Lincoln traveled to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. He spoke at the opening of a military cemetery. He felt very tired by the time he got back to Washington. Doctors thought he had a cold. Later, they said he had a weak form of smallpox.

1863年11月,林肯总统前往宾夕法尼亚的葛底斯堡,在葛底斯堡阵亡将士公墓的落成典礼上讲话。林肯返回华盛顿后,感到非常疲倦,医生本以为林肯感冒了,后来却发现是染上了天花。

The president remained in bed. Few visitors could see him. There was a danger the smallpox could spread.

林肯卧床休养,因为天花传染,所以很少有人来看他。

Lincoln got better after a few weeks. He began working on his yearly message to Congress. After two-and-a-half years of war, he had good news to report. Union armies had gained two important victories at about the same time.

几个星期后,林肯逐渐康复,开始准备一年一度在国会发表的国情咨文。经过两年半的战斗,林肯这次终于有好消息可以汇报了。北军几乎在同一时间取得了两场重大胜利。

VOICE TWO:

One was the battle of Gettysburg. Union forces led by General George Meade had defeated Confederate forces led by General Robert E. Lee. They pushed Lee back into Virginia. It was the last Confederate invasion of the North.

其一是葛底斯堡战役。北军将领米德将军率兵击退了罗伯特·李率领的南军,把南军赶回了维吉尼亚,这是南军最后一次攻打北方。

The day after the battle of Gettysburg, Union forces defeated Confederate forces at Vicksburg, Mississippi. This victory gave them control of the Mississippi River. And it split the states of the Confederacy.

葛底斯堡战役胜利后的第二天,北军又在密西西比的维克斯堡打败了南军。北军于是有效控制了密西西比流域,将南方邦联的地盘拦腰切开。

VOICE ONE:

Union General Ulysses Grant had been trying to seize Vicksburg for several months. It was not easy. Vicksburg lay on the east side of the Mississippi River. It was built high above the water on a rocky cliff. As the river flowed past Vicksburg, it turned in sharply at the base of the cliff and then continued on to the Gulf of Mexico.

在这之前的几个月里,北军将领格兰特一直试图夺取维克斯堡,但是困难重重。维克斯堡位于密西西比东岸,建在一个陡峭的山崖上,密西西比河横穿维克斯堡,在山脚下急转弯,流向墨西哥湾。

The Confederates had placed cannon all along the sharp turn in the river. Enemy boats sailing past, made easy targets.

南军在密西西比河转弯处部署了很多火炮,途经此处的敌方船只,很容易成为他们的靶子。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

Ulysses Grant
Ulysses Grant

General Grant began the campaign for Vicksburg in late eighteen sixty-two. His army was west of the Mississippi River. He needed to get to the other side to attack the city.

格兰特将军从1862年年底开始攻打维克斯堡。他的部队位于密西西比西岸,首先需要过河。

First, Grant planned to cross the river into northern Mississippi state. Then he would march south to Vicksburg. He crossed the river. But Confederate forces destroyed his transportation and supply lines. He withdrew. Early in eighteen sixty-three, he tried again.

格兰特第一步计划是过河,进入密西西比,然后向南进发,直抵维克斯堡。北军士兵按计划过了河,但是南军部队摧毁了他们的交通和供给线。格兰特只好撤退。1863年初,又卷土重来。

VOICE ONE:

This time, he planned to sail his men past Vicksburg. They would cross the river a little downstream, turn and attack.

这次,格兰特打算让部下坐船绕过维克斯堡,在下游过河,然后回过头来发动进攻。

Grant moved forty thousand men to a point ten kilometers from Vicksburg. He told the men to put down their guns and take up digging tools. They would build a canal to carry them past the turn in the river, past the Confederate cannon.

格兰特率领四万人马在距离维克斯堡十公里的地方停下来,下令士兵放下武器,拿起铁锹,挖一条运河,绕过河流急转弯的地方,避开南军的火炮。

VOICE TWO:

For weeks, the Union soldiers worked on the canal. They dug through mud and wet clay. Many died of disease. After more than a month of digging, engineers decided that the canal would not work. Grant ordered the men to build another canal. Then another. They did not work, either.

北军士兵花了好几个星期的时间挖筑运河,期间很多人生病死去。一个多月过后,北方工程人员得出结论说,这条运河不能用。格兰特命令部下再挖另外两条运河,结果也都没有成功。

By this time, the Union soldiers had become experts at digging canals. One of them said: "As soon as the canals at Vicksburg are finished, we are going to cut a canal across the upper part of Florida. We will cut that state off from the Confederacy, and give it to the alligators!"

运河没挖成,北军士兵倒成了挖运河的专家。其中一个人就曾表示,“维克斯堡运河一挖好,我们就要再挖一条运河,横切佛罗里达上半部,把这个州从南方邦联切割出来,送给鳄鱼。”

VOICE ONE:

Finally, in April, eighteen sixty-three, Grant gave up all ideas of getting past Vicksburg without a fight. He decided to march most of his men down the west side of the river to a steamboat landing thirty kilometers below Vicksburg. He would send his navy boats past the city at night and hope for the best.

1863年4月,格兰特决定放弃所有迂回战术,硬闯。他下令大部人马沿着河西岸进发,目的地是距离维克斯堡大约三十公里处的一个蒸汽船停靠码头。与此同时,格兰特下令海军战舰夜间摸黑闯关。

It took three weeks for Grant's men to reach the steamboat landing. The roads were very rough. In many places, they were covered with water. Engineers had to cut trees and cover the muddy roads with logs so wagons would not sink. They had to build bridges over the many streams.

格兰特的部下千辛万苦,整整花了三个星期的时间才到达预定的船码头,沿途很多地方都被水淹没,工程人员不得不砍树,把木桩搭在水面上,不让马车沉没。除此以外,他们还要在很多溪流上架设桥梁。

(MUSIC)

VOICE TWO:

On the night of April sixteenth, the Union navy made its run past Vicksburg. Eight gunboats and three empty troop boats floated down the dark river. Their engines were silent.

1863年4月16日夜间,北方海军采取行动了。八条战舰和三条没坐人的运兵船趁夜色悄悄地顺流而下。

The Confederates, however, had built fires along the river. They saw the Union boats and began to shoot. They hit most of the boats, but destroyed only one. The damaged boats reached safety below the city.

然而,南军在河流两岸点火照明,藉着火光发现了北军船只,立即开火。大多数北军战舰都被南军的炮火击中,但是只有一艘被击沉。其余船只都顺利抵达了目的地。

On the last day of April, the Union troop boats began carrying soldiers to the east side of the river. About twenty-three thousand men crossed. Right away, they faced a force of eight thousand Confederate soldiers. They drove the Confederates back.

4月30号那天,北军的运兵船将大约两万三千名士兵从河西岸运到东岸。他们上岸后立即遭遇了一支八千人的南军部队,并将其击退。

VOICE ONE:

Grant then ordered the rest of his army to cross to the east side of the river. Some of his officers protested. They said it would be impossible to get supplies to a large army east of the river.

格兰特随即下令剩下的人马全部过河,遭到手下一些指挥官的反对。他们觉得供给肯定跟不上。

Grant was not worried about supplies. He said the men should bring only coffee, hard bread, and salt. Anything else could be taken from the farmers of Mississippi. Their homes, he said, were full of food.

然而,格兰特并不担心。他下令,所有人只需携带咖啡、硬面包和盐。其余物资可以从密西西比农民那里拿,他们家里有充足的食物。

VOICE TWO:

Grant decided not to throw his men against the strong defenses around Vicksburg immediately. Instead, he marched them east toward Jackson, the state capital.

格兰特决定,不让部下立即对维克斯堡强大的防线发动进攻,而是让他们向东面的密西西比首府杰克逊进发。

Jackson was the supply base for the Confederate army defending Vicksburg. Grant wanted to cut the supply lines between the two cities. He also wanted to prevent the soldiers in Jackson from joining the soldiers in Vicksburg.

杰克逊是维克斯堡防守部队的供给基地。格兰特将军希望切断两座城市之间的供给线,同时防止南军士兵从杰克逊赶往维克斯堡增援。

Grant captured Jackson easily. He left some troops to destroy enemy supplies. He took the remaining troops and turned back toward Vicksburg.

格兰特轻而易举地占领了杰克逊,命令一部分人留下来销毁敌人的供给,其余人赶往维克斯堡。

VOICE ONE:

Siege of Vicksburg
Siege of Vicksburg

Grant attacked Vicksburg several times. Each time, his troops were thrown back. The city's defenses were too strong. Grant then decided to surround the city and wait until its food was gone. That, he thought, would make the Confederates surrender.

格兰特对维克斯堡发起多次进攻,但是都被挡了回来,维克斯堡的防守滴水不漏。格兰特只好决定封锁维克斯堡,等待南军弹尽粮绝,自己投降。

Grant closed in with men and artillery. As one soldier wrote: "The circle of Union forces around the city was so tight that a cat could not have crept out without being discovered."

格兰特的炮火和兵力将维克斯堡围得水泄不通。当时有战士写道:“北军把整个城市围得严严实实,就连一只猫也跑不出去。”

Nothing could get out. Nothing could get in.

Weeks passed. The Union army shelled the city. The Confederate army answered from time to time. Food supplies dropped. There was little to eat except corn bread and the meat of mules. Some people caught rats and ate them.

就这样,几个星期过去了。北军部队炮轰维克斯堡,南军时不时地反击一下。南军的粮食越来越紧张,除了玉米面包和骡子肉,已经没有什么好吃的了。一些人开始抓耗子充饥。

VOICE TWO:

Union positions near Vicksburg
Union positions near Vicksburg

Finally, the Confederate commander, General John Pemberton, decided the situation was hopeless. He sent word to Grant that he was ready to discuss surrender.

南军将领彭伯顿最后决定,没希望了。他传话给格兰特,提出谈判。

The two commanders met under a white flag of truce. Grant demanded unconditional surrender. Pemberton rejected the demand.

两位指挥官在停战白旗下见面。格兰特要求南军无条件投降,遭到彭伯顿拒绝。

Pemberton's men were to be prisoners. That was a fact. But Pemberton wanted them released immediately on parole. He told Grant that his men would promise to stay out of the war if permitted to return to their homes. If not, he said, they would continue to fight.

彭伯顿的手下要成为战俘,这是毫无疑问的,但是彭伯顿希望他们能立即得到假释。彭伯顿告诉格兰特说,如果让他们回家,这些南军士兵保证不再参战。否则的话,他们就会继续打下去。

VOICE ONE:

Grant agreed to let the Confederate soldiers go home. He and Pemberton signed the surrender agreement on July fourth. The siege of Vicksburg had lasted forty-seven days.

格兰特同意让俘虏的南军士兵回家。7月4号,格兰特和彭伯顿签署投降议定书。维克斯堡围困战整整持续了47天。

Never had a Union army won such a victory. Grant had taken thirty thousand Confederate soldiers out of the war. He had captured sixty thousand guns and one hundred seventy cannons.

这是北军取得的最大一场胜利。格兰特不仅让三万名南军士兵退出战争,而且还缴获了六万条枪和170门大炮。

These were serious losses for the Confederacy. It already was low on manpower and weapons. But an even greater loss was the control of the Mississippi River. With Vicksburg in Union hands, the North could control the whole length of the river. And the confederacy was split badly.

这让本来就缺少兵源和武器的南军遭受重创。南军更大的损失是丧失了对密西西比河的控制权。占领维克斯堡后,北方就牢牢控制了整条密西西比河,并将南方邦联拦腰切断。

(MUSIC)

ANNOUNCER:

Our program was written by Frank Beardsley. The narrators were Kay Gallant and Harry Monroe. You can find transcripts, MP3s and podcasts of our programs, along with historical images, at www.unsv.com. And you can follow us on Twitter at VOA Learning English. Join us again next week for THE MAKING OF A NATION -- an American history series in VOA Special English.

___

This is program #111 of THE MAKING OF A NATION

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