Consolidation of Vicksburg National Military Park
An Act to consolidate Vicksburg National Military Park and to provide for certain adjustments necessitated by the installation of a park tour road, and for other purposes. (77 Stat. 55)
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled That, in order to preserve and protect the essential historical features of Vicksburg National Military Park in the State of Mississippi and to enhance visitor enjoyment and safety by means of a park tour road and through the consolidation of park lands, the Secretary of the Interior is authorized, in his discretion, and under such terms and conditions as he determines are in the public interest
(a) to quitclaim to the city of Vicksburg, Mississippi, approximately one hundred and fifty-four acres of land, including the roads thereon and the park land abutting said roads, in exchange for the city's agreeing to place the roads in its road system and thereby assume jurisdiction and maintenance thereof, and upon the further agreement of the city to maintain the parklike character of so much of the park land conveyed to it and abutting the road as the Secretary may prescribe, said land being generally that part of Vicksburg National Military Park lying south of Fort Garrott with the exception of Navy Circle, South Fort, and Louisiana Circle: Provided, That title to so much of said abutting park land prescribed by the Secretary and covered by said agreement of the city to maintain the parklike character thereof shall revert to the United States if its parklike character is not maintained; to quitclaim to Warren County, Mississippi, upon like terms and conditions approximately twenty-four acres of land, including the road and abutting park land, being as Sherman Avenue and the Sherman Avenue spur; to release or quitclaim to Warren County or any other appropriate political subdivision of the State all interest which the United States of America has, if any, in those portions of any public road located on park land which are no longer required for park purposes: Provided, That the United States shall reserve from the conveyance or conveyances made pursuant to this subsection title to all historical monuments, means of access thereto, and such other easements as the Secretary determines are required for the continued administration of said monuments as a part of Vicksburg National Military Park; and
(b) to acquire not in excess of five hundred and forty-four acres of land, or interests in land, for addition to Vicksburg National Military Park, such authority to include purchase and condemnation with appropriated funds but not to constitute a limitation upon existing authority to accept donations; and
(c) to enter into agreements with duly authorized officials of the city of Vicksburg and Warren County relative to the effect which the installation of a one-way park tour road with controlled access will have upon the existing local road systems; subject to the availability of funds, to obligate the United States to make provision for such alterations, relocations and construction of local roads, including procurement of rights-of-way therefor and the subsequent transfer thereof to the State or its appropriate political subdivisions which shall thereupon assume jurisdiction and maintenance, as the Secretary and said officials agree are directly attributable to the installation of the park tour road; and to transfer to the city or county jurisdiction and maintenance of service roads which the Secretary constructs on park lands to properties that otherwise would be denied access because of the installation of the park tour road.
The Secretary of the Interior shall not, without first obtaining the consent of the city and county officials referred to in subsection (c), convert the portion of the existing road known as Confederate Avenue lying between Graveyard Road and Fort Garrott into a one-way park tour road with controlled access, or otherwise limit the use of such portion by local traffic, until the United States has provided for such alterations, relocations, and construction of local roads (including procurement of rights-of-way) as the Secretary and said officials agree are directly attributable to the installation of such park tour road.
SEC. 2. Upon the delivery and acceptance of the conveyances herein authorized, any jurisdiction heretofore ceded to the United States by the State of Mississippi over the lands and roads transferred shall thereby cease and thereafter rest in the State of Mississippi.
SEC. 3. There are hereby authorized to be appropriated such sums, but not more than $2,050,000, as are required for acquisition of lands and interests in lands and for construction and relocation of roads pursuant to this Act.
Approved June 4, 1963.
House Report No. 292 accompanying H.R. 1162 (Interior and Insular Affairs Committee).
Senate Report No. 115 (Interior and Insular Affairs Committee)
Congressional Record. Vol. 109. 1963:
Apr. 10: Considered and passed Senate.
May 20: Considered and passed House amended (In lieu of' H.R. 1162).
May 21: Senate agrees to House amendment.
Did You Know?
President Abraham Lincoln, in speaking of Vicksburg's importance, is reputed to have stated early during the Civil War, "See what a lot of land these fellows hold, of which Vicksburg is the key, the war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket."