Vicksburg National Military Park
In 2012, Vicksburg National Military Park (VICK) undertook a battlefield restoration project within the park. The purpose of the battlefield restoration was to create a landscape that more closely resembles that of the 1863 Siege of Vicksburg. The Cultural Landscape Report (NPS 2009b) for VICK list three areas for “restoration.” These areas were chosen because of their unique historic significance. The first parcel, Area 1, is the location of the earthworks and artillery positions associated with the Old Jackson Road, Battery DeGolyer, and the Third Louisiana Redan. This is the site of the Shirley House and the Union assault on the redan. Area 2 is located between the Railroad Redoubt and Fort Garrott and shows how Confederate fortifications secured the strategic supply lines. Area 3 is located near the Stockade Redan on Graveyard Road. This is the site of General Ulysses S. Grant’s unsuccessful assault against Confederate forces. Following the failure of these assaults, General Grant decided to conduct a siege campaign.
The act of restoring the battlefield to its previous state would remove the artifacts residing on the battlefield from their current context, primarily through the use of bulldozers and other pieces of large equipment; the Southeast Archeological Center (SEAC) was contacted by VICK to begin the Section 106 survey necessary to undertake the restoration project. SEAC using local volunteer metal detectors was able to systematically survey Areas 2 and 3 prior to construction. The survey netted over 1000 artifacts which are directly relatable to the siege of Vicksburg. Ongoing analysis of the materials will allow us to determine firing patterns, troop movements, and gain a greater understanding of siege life in an effort to provide a more complete picture of this pivotal conflict during the American Civil War.
National Park Service (NPS)
2009b Cultural Landscape Report: Vicksburg National Military Park.