Vicksburg and the Civil War are inextricably tied together, with Abraham Lincoln once calling the city “the key” to victory. Today, the city recognizes its important role in this defining event in American history in several different ways. Touring the Civil War attractions in Vicksburg is an excellent way to learn more about the history of the city and the war itself.
This park was established in 1899 to honor the troops that fought in the Siege of Vicksburg, which was the culmination of an 18-month effort by the Union to capture the city from the Confederacy.
Overall, the park stretches over 2,300 acres of land with several interesting features to explore. In total, there are 20 miles of trenches, 15 bridges, five historic buildings, and 141 cannons and carriages located in the park. Along with these restorations, there are also some significant attractions on the grounds such as:
- U.S.S. Cairo: Commissioned in 1862, this 13-gun ship was created to assist the Union in the Siege of Vicksburg, but was sunk in the Yazoo River a year after its deployment. The ship was salvaged from the river in 1964 and taken to the Military Park for restoration. Now, the U.S.S. Cairo Museum provides information on what life was like on the boat with artifacts from the time period.
- Monuments: There are over 1,400 monuments located at the Military Park, making it one of the most densely populated parks in the country. Most of these monuments were commissioned shortly after the park was created to honor soldiers from states on both sides of the conflict.
- Vicksburg National Cemetery: Congress established this site in 1866 as a place to bury troops who sacrificed their lives in the Civil War. With over 17,000 buried soldiers, it is the largest Union cemetery in the country. The Victorian design pays homage to the time period these soldiers lived in.
Immerse yourself in the past at one of the various tour homes located around Vicksburg. These houses have preserved what life was like during the Victorian era. Some of these homes were involved in the war, used as hospitals for soldiers, and housing for Confederate and Union generals.
The Key to the South
As the site of one of the most significant battles in the Civil War, Vicksburg has retained much of its history related to the conflict to this day. The attractions in Vicksburg offer the opportunity to learn about the country’s past while honoring those who fought and sacrificed for their cause. After you have soaked up all of the information you can about the city’s past, step into the present and enjoy some culture and dining in downtown Vicksburg, where there is plenty more to explore. For more information about local attractions, contact Visit Vicksburg today to have your questions answered.