Vicksburg National Military Park
3201 Clay Street
Vicksburg, Mississippi 39183
Explore the Vicksburg National
The National Military Park commemorates the
campaign, siege, and defense of Vicksburg. The city�s surrender on
July 4, 1863, coupled with the fall of Port Hudson, LA, split the
South, giving undisputed control of the Mississippi River to the
North. Over 1,330 monuments, a restored Union gunboat, and National
Cemetery mark the 16-mile tour road.
Places to Picnic
- U.S.S. Cairo Museum
- Second Texas Lunette
Things to Do
The VISITOR CENTER offers general and
historical information services, orientation film, exhibits on various
topics of the Civil War period, bookstore, restroom facilities, and
regional (city/county) information.
The USS CAIRO MUSEUM AND GUNBOAT offers
general and historical information services, exhibits on naval
operations of the Civil War, bookstore, restroom facilities, and
picnic area. Artifacts on display are a time capsule of life aboard an
ironclad gunboat. Sailors' personal possessions, cookware, medical
supplies, and weaponry are featured. A six-minute video explains the
sinking, discovery, and salvage operations of the gunboat.
Three DETACHED UNITS include the
riverfront batteries at Navy Circle, South Fort, and Louisiana
Circle. Across the Mississippi River is the last remaining section
of Grant's Canal, where Union forces attempted to bypass
Vicksburg by digging a channel through DeSoto Point. Exhibits include
an historic state highway marker, bronze tablet and wayside exhibits
on Williams Canal, Grant's Canal, and Black Troops at Milliken's Bend,
and the Connecticut State Monument, dedicated in 2008.
PEMBERTON'S HEADQUARTERS is located in historic downtown
Vicksburg, commemorating the Confederate commander's operations center
during the siege of Vicksburg. (This building is not presently open
to the public.)
A 16-mile TOUR ROAD parallels Union siege
and Confederate defensive lines, with three interconnecting roadways,
15 designated Tour Stops, wayside markers and exhibits, short
spur trails to points of interest, and several Boy Scout hiking trails
including, a primitive 12-mile compass trail, and 7- and 14-mile treks
that follow the park tour road.
Natural Resources at Vicksburg National MILITARY
Park? Very much so! In fact, natural resources are intimately linked
to the historical events which transpired here. The fact that
Vicksburg was considered the "Gibralter of the Confederacy"
was due to its location atop the high loess soil bluffs adjacent to
the Mississippi River.
The consistency of the soil itself was crucial
in allowing troops to dig trenches and tunnels, as well as providing
shelter to the civilian population in the form of artificial caves.
The thickly wooded forests growing in the area supplied the material
needed for construction of fortifications along the siege lines.
In short, the natural resources at Vicksburg are
an integral component of the park's cultural landscape.
Considered apart from their historical ties,
Vicksburg's natural resources have a significance unto themselves as
well. The glacially-derived loess soil blufflands are a relatively
rare geological landform in their own right.
Left undisturbed, the ridges and ravines support
a dense forest cover, and some of the oldest second-growth trees in
the state are found in the park. This quality habitat along the
Mississippi migratory flyway has led to Vicksburg being designated an
Important Bird Area.
The park provides a haven for not only
threatened and rare bald eagles and warblers, but also reptile and
plant species that are of special concern to biologists. Animals of
the prehistoric past are present as well, reappearing in fossil-laden
limestone layers that have been exposed by the park's many
ecologically rich waterways.
Vicksburg National Military Park was set aside
in 1899 to preserve and interpret the siege and defense lines of a
crucial Civil War battle. When the site was passed from the War
Department to the National Park Service in 1933, the Park Service
acquired a property containing a vast array of historical and natural
True to its mission, the National Park Service
today is actively managing all of the park's resources, ensuring that
the outstanding natural resources present in this military park are
The national military park was established on
February 21, 1899, to commemorate the siege and defense of Vicksburg.
The park sprawls over 1,800 acres of land. Over a million visitors
visit the park every year.
The park and cemetery were transferred from the
War Department to the National Park Service (NPS) on August 10, 1933.
In the late 1950s, a portion of the park was transferred to the city
as a local park, in exchange for closing local roads running through
the remainder of the park.
It also allowed for the construction of
Interstate 20. The monuments in the transferred land are still
maintained by the NPS. As with all historic areas administered by the
NPS, the park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places
on October 15, 1966. Of the park's 1,736.47 acres (not including the
cemetery), 1,729.63 acres are federally owned.
Page 1 of 1