Visiting Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg, Mississippi.

Vicksburg Military Park …. A must see in Vicksburg is a visit to the Vicksburg Military Park located in the north-eastern portion portion of the city of Vicksburg. Mississippi.

I had first visited the Park early in 1980 in the company of long-time good friend Joe Sroba, and in my first ‘big’ journey to the U.S.

20160402_153823The main area of the park shows the four detached units of Louisiana, site of the Confederate fortifications, South Fort, another Confederate defense work; Navy Circle, marking the southern anchor of the Union lines; and a port of Grant’s Canal, across the Mississippi in Louisiana.

As established in 1899, the park included the entire extent of the seige and defence lines in the Battle for Vicksburg, waged from May 18 to July 4, 1863.

Reconstructed forts and trenches evoke memories of the 47-day siege that ended in the surrender of the city. Victory here and at Port Hudson, farther south in Louisiana, gave the Union Army, under the command of General Ulysseys S. Grant control of the Mississippi River.


The park includes 1,325 historic monuments and markers, 20 miles (32 km) of historic trenches and earthworks, a 16-mile (26 km) tour road, a 12.5-mile (20.1 km) walking trail, two antebellum homes, 144 emplaced cannons, the restored gunboat USS Cairo (sunk on December 12, 1862, on the Yazoo River), and the Grant’s Canal site, where the Union Army attempted to build a canal to let their ships bypass Confederate artillery fire.

Highlight of the visit to the Park is undoubtedly the Cairo, also known as the “Hardluck Ironclad,” was the first U.S. ship in history to be sunk by a torpedo/mine. It was recovered from the Yazoo in 1964.


USS Cairo sunk by a mine in 1864 and raised to the surface in 1965.

USS Cairo sunk by a mine in 1862 and raised to the surface 102 years later in 1964..

Make sure you check out the Illinois State Memorial has 47 steps, one for every day Vicksburg was besieged.

And, of course, a tour of the Visitor’s Centre is very fascinating.



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