After a few bloody repulses, Grant found he could make little headway against the almost impenetrable earthworks surrounding Vicksburg. Thus, both sides settled down to a long drawn out siege in which the Federals continuously threw shells into the enemy ranks and the town itself. In less than two months, lacking food and supplies, with no hope of relief in sight, Pemberton decided to surrender, with Vicksburg capitulating on 4 July 1863. The fall of the town culminated Grant's most brilliant triumph and continued his spectacular rise to fame. His recollections of the siege are taken from Personal Memories of U.S. Grant.
I now determined upon a regular siege—to "outcamp the enemy" as it were, and to incur no more losses. The experience of the 22d convinced officers and men that this was best, and they went to work on the defenses and approaches with a will. With the navy holding the river, the investment of Vicksburg was complete. As long as we could hold our position the enemy was limited in supplies of food, men and munitions of war to what they had on hand. These could not last always.
The crossing of troops at Bruinsburg commenced April 30th. On the 18th of May the army was in rear of Vicksburg. On the 19th, just twenty days after the crossing, the city was completely invested and an assault had been made: five distinct battles (besides continuous skirmishing) had been fought and won by the Union forces; the capital of the State had fallen and its arsenals, military manufactories and everything useful for military purposes had been destroyed; an average of about one hundred and eighty miles had been marched by the troops engaged; but five days' rations had been issued, and no forage; over six thousand prisoners had been captured, and as many more of the enemy had been killed or wounded; twenty-seven heavy cannon and sixty-one field-pieces had