February 23, 2011
Contact: Tim Kavanaugh
The sound of rifles will echo across Vicksburg National Military Park this weekend as volunteers from the 8th Missouri Infantry, Union Army, visit the park for a Living History encampment and demonstration on Saturday, February 26th and Sunday, February 27th.
The programs will take place at Stop #2 on the park tour road, adjacent to the Shirley House and the Illinois Monument. Programs and demonstrations be will throughout the day on Saturday, and 8:00 am until noon on Sunday. There will be demonstrations of infantry weapons and tactics, as well as the tools and techniques of Army engineering as it was used by Grant's army during the siege of Vicksburg. The encampment will be in the exact location of Logan's Approach, a series of "saps" or trenches, leading to a mine or "gallery" that was dug beneath the 3rd Louisiana Redan, which was blown up and assaulted on June 25, 1863 and exploded again on July 1st.
The 8th Missouri Volunteer Infantry Regiment consisted of mostly Irish volunteers who worked on the Mississippi River docks in St. Louis before the war. Their regimental flag, like many of the Irish regiments, was green and emblazoned with the gold harp – proudly announcing the land of their birth and their willingness to fight for their adopted country at a time when they suffered terrible prejudice against them and their Roman Catholic religion. The regiment played a key role in the assaults against and siege of Vicksburg; and distinguished themselves with eleven Congressional Medals of Honor awarded to men of the regiment for valor during the assault on May 22, 1863.
Park admission is $8.00 per vehicle, and valid for a week. All VNMP and National Park Service passes are honored. Call the park at 601-636-0583 for details of the events.
Visit the park this weekend and see history come to life!