• View from Battery DeGolyer

    Vicksburg

    National Military Park Mississippi

Frequently Asked Questions

Grant and Pemberton

Grant and Pemberton

Who won the battle at Vicksburg? General John C. Pemberton and the Confederate Army surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant's Union forces on July 4, 1863.

 
USS Cairo Salvage Operation

USS Cairo Salvage Operation

Ken Parks Photo

Where was the USS Cairo Gunboat found? The USS Cairo was sunk by a Confederate torpedo (mine) on December 12, 1862, in the Yazoo River, 13 miles north of Vicksburg. It was located and identified in 1956 and raised in on December 12, 1964.
 
Monuments on Grant Avenue

Monuments on Grant Avenue

NPS Photo

How many monuments are located in the park? Over 1700 monuments, plaques, tablets, and markers were originally slated to be placed on park grounds. In addition to those never sited, several hundred tablets and markers have been removed, damaged, or lost over the years. Currently, over 1350 of these commemorative features have been documented as still present within official park boundaries or on former park lands.
 
How could the soldiers fight with all the trees blocking their views? The terrain at the time of the siege was virtually treeless. Most ridgetops had been cleared for farming and roads prior to the war, and the remaining forests cleared for use in building the defenses around Vicksburg once the conflict started. The trees now present in the park are the result of erosion-prevention measures taken by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s.
 
Old Jackson Road showing Illinois Monument and Shirley House, ca. 1910
Old Jackson Road showing Illinois Monument and Shirley House, ca. 1910
 
A Divided Nation

A Divided Nation

When did Mississippi secede from the Union? Mississippi voted for secession on January 9, 1861.
 
What is a redoubt, redan, and lunette?

A redoubt is an enclosed square or rectangular earthwork with four fronts and four angles.

A redan is a triangular earthwork used to cover points to the rear such as bridges or river fords, and had two fronts and three angles.

A lunette was employed in much the same fashion as a redan, with two faces forming a salient angle, two flanks adjoining the faces, and the rear open to interior lines.
 
Redoubt, Redan, Lunette
Redoubt, Redan, Lunette
 
CSA Headstone in Vicksburg National Cemetery

CSA Headstone in Vicksburg National Cemetery

NPS Photo

Why are there no Confederate soldiers buried in the National Cemetery? When the National Cemetery System was enacted in 1862, only "...the soldiers who shall die in the service of this country..." (which at the time meant those in the Union Army), were allowed to be buried. In 1873, Congress extended the right of burial in National Cemeteries to all honorably discharged Union Civil War veterans. Confederate veterans became eligible for interment in National Cemeteries only if they later served the United States in the Indian Wars or Spanish-American War. There are some exceptions which include Confederate prisoners interred in Arlington National Cemetery (originally given civilian burials), and three Confederate soldiers known to have been mistakenly buried in Vicksburg National Cemetery in the 1860s.
 
City Class Ironclads

City Class Ironclads

The USS Cairo was one of seven identical city class ironclads. What happened to the other six?

The USS Cairo and USS St. Louis (renamed the USS Baron De Kalb) were sunk by torpedoes on the Yazoo River (Cairo in 1862; Baron De Kalb in 1863). Only the Cairo was salvaged 102 years later.

The USS Cincinnati was sunk twice during the war - once at Vicksburg - and raised and re-fitted to survive till the end of the conflict. It was then sold and sank at its moorings on the Cache River in 1866.

The USS Carondelet and USS Mound City were sold after the war, and broken up for scrap.

The USS Louisville and USS Pittsburg were sold in 1865, with the Pittsburg being abandoned in 1870.

Did You Know?

Confederate Headstones, Vicksburg National Cemetery

There are at least three known Confederates buried in Vicksburg National Cemetery, two of whom have graves designated by Confederate headstones.