Battlefield Restoration Project Gets Underway
Contact: Michael Madell, 601-619-2902
During the upcoming weeks, work will began on Vicksburg National Military Park's battlefield restoration project, covering approximately 80-90 acres within the park boundaries.
Per the park's Cultural Landscape Plan and Environmental Assessment approved in 2009, which incorporated public input received over its 2-year development and review period, restoration will involve removal of woodland cover and maintenance of the landscape in a more open and visually accessible state.
All work will occur on sites designated to be areas of key military engagements during the campaign for Vicksburg, allowing for enhanced interpretation of the 1863 siege. These key military engagement sites were identified through careful review of the military terrain that helped define the events of May 19 through July 4, 1863, and its ability to convey the full range of events and activities that occurred. The project areas include the earthworks and artillery positions associated with the city approaches of Old Jackson Road/Battery DeGolyer/Third Louisiana Redan, Railroad Redoubt/Fort Garrott, and Graveyard Road near its intersection with Union Avenue.
The goal is to remove the least woodland cover needed to reveal the most important historic landscape relationships.This will also provide for additional interpretive exhibits and devices to support visitor understanding of the events of 1863.The mitigation required for this restoration project will include stringent erosion control measures, implementation of Best Management Practices (BMPs) during and after clearing, monitoring of wildlife, plants, water quality, and soundscape in order to detect any definitive changes, and continual landscape assessment to determine if modifications are needed for subsequent phases of the restoration process.
During the project, access to parts of the tour road may be limited and/or closed for short periods, and the park asks all visitors to stay alert to all construction activities and obey all posted signage.Project updates will be posted at regular intervals on the park's web site at: www.nps.gov/vick/parkmgmt/restoration.htm
Did You Know?
Thomas O. Selfridge, captain of the USS Cairo, commanded three boats which sank during the war. Each began with the letter "C"-Cumberland, Cairo, and Conestoga. The coincidence was noted after the Conestoga sank, and Selfridge was assigned to the USS Osage, which survived to the end of the war.