Vicksburg’s Civil War History - Visit Vicksburg


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Vicksburg’s Civil War History

You may know Vicksburg, MS as the “Key to the South.” It was actually President Abraham Lincoln who gave the city that nickname during the American Civil War when Vicksburg found itself at the center of the battle. “See what a lot of land these fellows hold,” Lincoln said, “of which Vicksburg is the key!”

To learn more about Vicksburg’s role during the war and to explore the historical monuments that exist throughout the city today, Visit Vicksburg can help.

The Civil War Comes to Vicksburg

The American Civil War was fought over several years and several battlegrounds across the country, but the Siege of Vicksburg is one of the most notable. After holding the city for 47 days, Confederate Lt. General John C. Pemberton surrendered to Union General Ulysses S. Grant on July 4, 1863. It, in combination with another victory at the Battle of Gettysburg the day before, turned the war in the Union’s favor.

The Effects of the Civil War

With Vicksburg’s central location on the Mississippi River, the city and its surrounding borders were rife with activity during the war. Massive military ships, like the USS Cairo, were moving in close proximity, homes became hospitals providing refuge for wounded soldiers or headquarters for the surrounding Generals to strageize for battle. The city itself was turned into a war zone, the remnants of which are still preserved today at the Vicksburg National Military Park. Many lives were laid to rest at the Vicksburg National Cemetery and the Cedar Hill Cemetery. 

Today, visitors can appreciate Vicksburg’s Civil War history by touring the many monuments found all over the city and by watching living history reenactments of some of the most pivotal events. History buffs can see artifacts on display at the Old Depot Museum, the Old Courthouse Museum, as well as at the Civil War Museum 

Even while shopping and dining at Vicksburg’s historic downtown, signs of the war’s influence are easy to spot.  

Plan Your Civil War History Tour

Interested in learning more about the Vicksburg Campaign during the Civil War? Visit Vicksburg has resources to help you plan the perfect trip to immerse yourself in this important chapter of America’s history. Contact us for details.

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