Vicksburg National Military Park Travel Guide

  • The story of Vicksburg is a sad one for US history
    The story of Vicksburg is a sad one for...
    by TheTravelSlut
  • Take some time to read the history of this place
    Take some time to read the history of...
    by TheTravelSlut
  • You will be amazed how this battle was fought
    You will be amazed how this battle was...
    by TheTravelSlut

Vicksburg National Military Park Highlights

  • Pro
    mrclay2000 profile photo

    mrclay2000 says…

     Ranks with Gettysburg for monuments and markers 

  • Con
    mrclay2000 profile photo

    mrclay2000 says…

     Mainly used as a sports track by joggers and walkers 

  • In a nutshell
    Basaic profile photo

    Basaic says…

     An interesting piece of history, well presented 

Vicksburg National Military Park Things to Do

  • Vicksburg National Military Park is...

    I did both a tour of the Main Visitor center and driving tour of the Park plus taking time to check out the USS Cairo Museum and the artillery batteries located on the scenic Mississippi River lookouts.The park is comprised of four sections, separated by several miles. including Mississippi River front sites (including scenic overlooks of the...

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  • thayer's approach

    thayer's approach is stop 6 on the vicksburg battlefield tour. on may 22 nd union troops commanded by general john thayer stormed this hill held by the confederates. thayer and his troops were repulsed by confederate fire.

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  • vicksburg national cemetery

    the vicksburg national cemetery was established in 1866 for the internment of union civil war dead. in all there are 17,000 solders buried here of which 13,000 are unknown. later veterans of the spanish american, WWI, WWII, and the korean war were also buried here. the vicksburg national cemetery was closed to burials in 1961.

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  • u.s.s. cairo museum

    the u.s.s. cairo was a union ironclad gun boat that was commissioned in january 1862. the cairo was commanded by thomas o. selfridge and was named after the town of cairo illinois. in december 1862 the cairo was patroling the yazoo river and it struck two mines and sank. the cairo was raised 102 years later in 1964. because the cairo sunk in river...

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  • navy monument

    the navy monument is a 202 foot high marble obelisk which is the highest in the park. the navy monument honors the union naval officers and sailors that fought in the vicksburg campaign.

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  • new hampshire memorial

    the new hampshire memorial honors the solders who fought at vicksburg from that state. this 20 foot tall marble monument was erected in 1904.

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  • ulysses s. grant statue

    this equestrain statue was erected on the site of grant's headquarters during the siege of vicksburg. the ulysses s. grant statue was sculpted by frederick c. hibbard in 1919.

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  • 79 th new york infantry memorial

    this memorial honors the solders of the 79 th new york infantry who fought at vicksburg. this 43 foot garnite obelisk was erected in 1917.

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  • rhode island memorial

    the rhode island memorial honors the solders that fought at vicksburg from that state. this memorial depicts a solder retreaving a fallen battle flag. the rhode island memorial was sculpted in 1908 by frank edwin elwell.

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  • wisconsin memorial

    the wisconsin memorial honors the 9075 troops that fought at vicksburg from that state. this monument is 122 feet tall topped with a statute of "old abe". the "old abe" war eagle is the symbol of the 8 th wisconsin infantry.

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  • illinois memorial

    this memorial is one of the most impressive in the park. the illinois memorial was built in 1906 out of stone mountain granite. there are 47 steps up to the memorial that represent the 47 days of the siege. this memorial is 62 feet high and is fashioned after the pantheon in rome.

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  • shirley house

    the shirley house is the only surviving structure of the battle of vicksburg in the park. the shirley house was used during the seige as headquarters for the 45 th illinois infantry. currently the shirley house is under renovation.

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  • battery de golyer

    pictured is a cannon seige line at battery de golyer. this battery was used to fire at the louisiana confederate positions. battery de golyer is the first stop on the battlefield tour.

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  • michigan memorial

    the michigan memorial honors the solders that fought at vicksburg from that state. the michigan memorial is 37 feet high and is made out of white bethel granite. the memorial was erected in 1916 and was sculpted by herbert adams.

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  • minnesota monument

    the minnesota monument honors the solders that fought at vickburg for that state. the monument is 90 feet high and is made out of north carolina granite. the memorial was erected in 1907 and was sculpted by william couper.

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  • memorial arch

    next to the vicksburg national military park visitor center is the memorial arch. this is the main entrance to the 16 mile driving tour of the park. there a 15 stops on this road which point out important battles during the seige of vicksburg. in the park there are 1330 monuments and statues that honor divisions, brigades, and solders that fought...

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  • USS Cairo Museum

    There is also a museum telling the story of the USS Cairo and showing some of the artifacts recovered when it was salvaged in the 1960s.

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  • USS Cairo Details

    These pictures show some details about the USS Cairo. Photo 1 shows the hull plating and the cannons sticking through the side; Photo 2 shows the boilers that powered the ship; Photo 3 shows the bridge; Photo 4 shows the device that controlled the movement of the cannons; and Photo 5 shows one of the cannons.

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  • USS Cairo

    Also worth a visit is the USS Cairo and the small museum associated with it. The USS Cairo was sunk on 12 December 1862. It remained sunk in the Mississippi until it was salvaged in the early 1960s. Many of the artifacts recovered from the ship are on display in the USS Cairo museum.

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  • General Grant

    There is an impressive statue of General Grant near where his headquarters was located during the battle.

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  • Individual Monuments

    There are also monuments to individuals who played a major role in the battles and siege of Vicksburg throughout the park.

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  • Unit Monuments

    In addition to the state monuments (most of which I am putting in Travellogues) there are unit monuments where the units were located during the siege.

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  • Kentucky Monument

    Another state monument of note is the one for Kentucky. Not because it is the most impressive but because Kentucky had people fighting on both sides during the war. The monument therefore has the Commander in Chief of both Union and Confederate Forces represented.

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  • Illinois Monument

    The most impressive State Monument in the park is probably the one from Illinois. It is also the most famopus and the most photographed. It is located next to the Shirley House which is stop 2 on the driving tour.

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  • African American Soldier Monument

    On a turnoff towards Grants Headquarters you will find a nice monument to the African American Soldiers who fought and died on both sides during the siege of Vicksburg.

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  • Stop 14: Fort Garrott

    Fort Garrott was the sight of some of the worst fon the Confederate Lines. They suffered heany casualties from Union Sharpshooetrs including COL Garrott himslef, who died without knowing he had been promoted to Brigadier General. This is a nice stop because you can easily walk around it and view it from different angles.

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  • Stop 13: The Railroad Redoubt

    This fortification was built to protect the railroad. It was taken by the union forces on 22 May but a detachment of COL Thomas Waul's Texas Legion counterattacked and forced the union back out.

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  • Stop 12: 2nd Texas Lumette

    This fortification guarded the Baldwin Ferry Road approach to Vicksburg and was manned by the 2nd Texas Volunteer Infantry. The fortification was subjected to continuous attacks by he union soldiers on 22 May. The attacks were all pepulsed.

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  • Stop 10: Stockade Redan

    This fortification was attacked by the Union Army on 19 and 22 May. Both atacks failed. The failure of the union to take this and other fortifications caused General Grant to avoid any additional direct attacks.

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  • Stop 9: Fort Hill

    This fortification was considered so formidable that no attempt to attack it was ever made. The weather when I visited did not allow me to take any decent pictures. These pictures are a diorama in the Vicksburg Battlefield Museum.

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Vicksburg National Military Park Warnings and Dangers

  • PinkFloydActuary's Profile Photo
    Kentucky Memorial - in Fire Ant Country!

    by PinkFloydActuary Written Dec 2, 2006

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    We were there in the fall, so we didn't run across any snakes, but Vicksburg is home to several poisonous ones. More importantly, watch out for the fire ants nests, which seem to be everywhere. We were walking to the Kentucky memorial, which is in the middle of a field, and accidentally got a nest up in arms when we walked too close to it. Just keep alert - for most of the sights, there's little chance of messing with any of these things, but I know how sometimes you'll wander into a field to get a better picture, and that's when the danger is highest!

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Vicksburg National Military Park Favorites

  • mrclay2000's Profile Photo
    Vicksburg monument

    by mrclay2000 Written Feb 25, 2003

    Favorite thing: From the moment you enter under the memorial arch at the entrance, you'll discover that Vicksburg National Military Park is among the prettiest in terms of scenery among the military parks in the system. This and the fact that the park receives little traffic tends to explain why the park road is a mecca for area walkers and joggers. The grounds are neatly landscaped, access to all monuments and markers is simple on the self-guiding road, and the surrounding trees would otherwise qualify this place as a beautiful urban park in its own right.

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    • Family Travel

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