• View from Battery DeGolyer

    Vicksburg

    National Military Park Mississippi

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  • Union Avenue Road Closure - Tuesday, September 16, 2014

    Union Avenue will be closed to all activities (walking, biking, jogging, and vehicle tours) between the Memorial Arch and Pemberton Avenue beginning at 6:30 a.m., and remained closed until hazardous tree removal work in the area is completed.

Life Aboard

USS Cairo Safety Lamp

USS Cairo Safety Lamp

NPS Photo

This safety lamp was used to light the powder magazine. Light passed into the magazine through the glass in the wooden frame (left) which was part of the magazine bulkhead. The copper pipe was used to carry off smoke.
 
Signal Lantern and Smoke Bell

Signal Lantern and Smoke Bell

NPS Photo

A signal lantern and a smoke bell for a lamp (lower-center) were recovered along with several types of glass lamp globes, some of which are still covered with soot from the last time they burned aboard the Cairo.
 
USS Cairo Artifacts

USS Cairo Artifacts

NPS Photo

Cairo carried these damage cones (left) used to plug holes shot in the gunboat's side. They were, however, of little use for holes caused by torpedoes! Perhaps the kerosene once stored in this jug (right) was used to refill the Cairo's lamps. The ship's whistle (center) had been taken off the gunboat many years before the salvage.
 
USS Cairo Artifacts

USS Cairo Artifacts

NPS Photo

One of the sailors apparently nailed this horseshoe to the gunboat's signal bell in the engine room. Other interesting artifacts recovered include this brass steam gauge and fire hose nozzle.
 
USS Cairo Wrist and Leg Irons

USS Cairo Wrist and Leg Irons

NPS Photo

On board, a landsman (present-day Marine) was responsible for guarding prisoners. According to crewman George Yost, these wrist and leg irons were used not just for enemy prisoners but for members of the Cairo's crew as well. An excerpt from his diary reads,

"Tuesday Oct 21,1862 — William Smith confined in Irons by order of Captain."

Did You Know?

Did You Know?

The Union siege lines and Confederate defensive lines were marked during the first decade of the 20th century by many of the veterans who fought at Vicksburg, thus making Vicksburg National Military Park one of the most accurately marked military parks in the world.