Partial Closure on Horn Island
Small portion of Horn Island, Mississippi, closed to entry due to discovery of asbestos and possible other bio hazards. Click on more for map and press release. More »
Shorebirds Nesting Near Roads - 20 mph
Shorebirds are nesting near roads and cross the road regularly. Observe posted speed limits and be alert for tiny birds on the roads. Last year 155 birds were killed on park roads, help us reduce the mortality rate of these beautiful birds and go slow.
Kids! Collect stories about the Civil War and civil rights! The National Park Service is offering more than 500 trading cards to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. Visit a park in person to earn a card (sorry, cards cannot be mailed). Ask a ranger or stop by the visitor center at a participating park. You can view all the cards online and discover stories from nearly 90 national parks in 31 states and the District of Columbia. You'll be surprised at what you will learn.
Gulf Islands National Seashore has a total of eight trading cards.
The Pensacola Forts Avenue to Freedom
With the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863, the military became an avenue to freedom. By 1864, Fort Pickens and Fort Barrancas, that had been built by slave labor, were now guarded by the 25th Regiment, US Colored Troops. Where free blacks had not long before fled Pensacola to preserve their freedom, now they came to fight for and secure it.
The First to Fight
The Louisiana Native Guards
Several thousand "free men of color" mustered into service in New Orleans. In early April, the 2nd
"The Branded Hand" of Jonathan Walker
In 1844, Jonathan Walker was caught helping escaped slaves. Imprisoned for months in Pensacola, Florida, his hand was branded "SS" for "slave stealer." Reinterpreted as "Slave Savior," this inspired a popular poem, "The Branded Hand." Walker's published journal bore witness to harsh punishment of slaves, and images of his hand were widely circulated among abolitionists.
Secret Night Time Raid on Santa Rosa Island
On October 9, 1861, over 1000
Federal Fire Power at Fort Pickens
On November 22-23, 1861, Union
"Dead Line" at Ship Island
Ship Island housed over 5,700
Lieutenant Adam Slemmer
Saving Fort Pickens
Lieutenant Slemmer commanded
Strategic Union Staging Ground
The Union used strategically located
Did You Know?
Because of the tropical-like conditions, the U. S. Army established the Cat Island War Dog Training Camp in south Mississippi during World War II. A variety of dog breeds were trained to guard, deliver messages, and attack the enemy. Cat Island is part of Gulf Islands National Seashore.