The Union Sends a Message
During the Civil War, everyday items like paper became luxury goods. And, like several other Southern newspapers, the Vicksburg Daily Citizen eventually exhausted its stock of newsprint. J.M. Swords, publisher and editor, vowed to keep the paper alive. His solution? Print the Citizen on the back of wallpaper—floral wallpaper. When Vicksburg surrendered to the Union on July 4, 1863, Swords fled, leaving the most recent issue of the Citizen typeset in his printing press. Union forces found the abandoned newspaper, decided to print it, with one vital change: Union soldiers replaced part of the last column with a newly typeset satirical announcement of their arrival in Vicksburg, and then printed and distributed the last edition of the Vicksburg Daily Citizen.