Vicksburg National Military Park is a destination visitors won’t want to miss when visiting Vicksburg MS. Full of history and paying tribute the obstruction and defense of Vicksburg the park is located on high ground high above the Mississippi River. Highlighting the famous surrender on July 4, 1863 Vicksburg Military Park is home to the battlefield which includes a tour road encompassing 16 miles of discovery, almost 1,400 markers and monuments, Vicksburg National Park Cemetery and a Union gunboat that has been fully restored.
The Union gunboat, named the U.S.S Cairo, had sunken and sat on the bottom of the Yazoo River for more than 100 years. Preserved only by silt and mud the U.S.S. Cairo had been hit by two torpedoes and sank to the bottom of the river in just over 10 minutes. Amazingly not one person lost their life. After a decade under water the ironclad boat was pulled up in 1964 and was fully restored sometime after that. Now on display at the Vicksburg National Military Park viewing the U.S.S. Cairo is a favorite of things to do for visitors.
The Mississippi State Memorial found in the park is one of the biggest attractions and can be found at the 12th mile long the 16-mile circuit through Vicksburg Military Park. It was created in Rome and shipped over to New Orleans at a cost of $32,000. Representing the activity during the Siege of Vicksburg by the troops the bronze monuments’s front side has an effigy of the Muse of History, Clio. In 1951 the monument was badly damaged by a lightening storm and was restructured again in 1954. Also found in Vicksburg National Park are the huge number of names of the campaign commanders of Vicksburg.
Natural resources abound at Vicksburg National Military Park and have a lot to do with the battle itself. The soil consistency at the peak of the bluffs was imperative for troops to be able to burrow tunnels and trenches and also for affording shelter in the way of artificial caves for the locals to seek cover in during the terrifying events. Densely wooded forests were a saving grace and allowed the troops material for building garrisons flanking the siege lines. In essence the natural resources at Vicksburg National Park were an integral element to the landscape of the park which helped the troops greatly in battle providing imperative materials to help in their fight.
Today Vicksburg Military Park remains an important part of the nations past. Since preservation of the land began in 1899 many people have visited to gain a better understanding about the siege and defense of the Civil War battle. Today the National Park Service actively administers the huge property including all the natural and historical resources located on it. A large variety of flora and fauna can be seen at the park depending on what time of year and what time of day you decide to visit Vicksburg National Park. Keep your eyes open and your movements down to a minimum and you may see a vast array of different species.