June 27, 2013
Contact: Tim Kavanaugh
Vicksburg National Military Park will conclude its ongoing observances and commemorations of the Sesquicentennial of the Campaign and Siege of Vicksburg with a series of special programs beginning Tuesday, July 2, through Sunday, July 7, 2013.
On Tuesday, July 2, 2013, the park will present a special ranger program on the status of both the Union and Confederate armies on that day in 1863, and the factors leading to General Pemberton's decision to surrender his army and the City of Vicksburg. The presentation will take place from 7:00 pm until 9:00 pm at the park's Visitor Center on Clay Street. A question and answer session will follow the presentation. Doors will open at 6:30 pm. This event is open to the public and will be free of charge.
On Wednesday, July 3, 2013, the park will feature Civil War reenactors and impersonators who will represent both Generals Grant and Pemberton, as well as their staff officers, at the exact location where these men met to discuss the terms of surrender on July 3, 1863. This location is now known as the "Surrender Interview Site" on Pemberton Avenue inside Vicksburg National Military Park. A park ranger will present a narration and program on the nature of the talks and terms of surrender agreed upon, while the reenactors provide a living historical vignette of the event. These programs will take place at 10:00 am and 2:00 pm at the Surrender Interview Site (upon entrance to the park, directional signs will guide visitors to the program location). Please wear cool, comfortable clothing, sunscreen, and bring drinking water as it will be hot and there is no shade at this location.
On Thursday, July 4, 2013, the park will host several events to interpretively represent the actual surrender of Vicksburg:
♦ From 9:00 am until 4:00 pm hourly artillery programs will be held at Battery DeGolyer (Stop #1 on the VNMP Tour Road), commemorating the last firing of the guns at Vicksburg. Union General Ulysses S. Grant ordered all of his army's cannon to fire a 36-gun salute early on the morning of July 4 — one shot for each state, North and South — before his troops marched into the city.
♦ Also from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm on July 4, volunteer reenactors from the 19th Louisiana Infantry will man the fortification at the park's Living History area (adjacent to the Visitor Center), with weapons and colors stacked, representing the Confederate garrison of Vicksburg awaiting its parole by Union forces.
♦ At 10:00 am at the Old Courthouse Museum in downtown Vicksburg, there will be a brief ceremony and program at which the Confederate "First National" flag will be lowered from the cupola of the Courthouse, just as it was on July 4, 1863; however, instead of the 36-star flag of the Union raised by Grant's army, staff will raise the 50-star flag of the United States of America, while a battery of Civil War-era cannon fires a salute across the old channel of the Mississippi River. Following the flag ceremony, local historian Jeff Giambrone will give a talk and powerpoint presentation in the courtroom of the Old Courthouse that gives a guided tour of Civil War Vicksburg. There is no admission fee to the Courthouse for this event or program.
From Friday, July 5 through Sunday, July 7, the park's Living History staff and volunteers will continue the hourly artillery programs at Battery DeGolyer, and the volunteer reenactors of the 19th Louisiana will continue to portray the paroled Confederate forces at the park's Living History area.
Admission to Vicksburg National Military Park is $8.00 per non-commercial vehicle, and all National Park and Vicksburg annual passes will be honored. The park is open daily from 8:00 am until 5:00 pm.
For further information on this or other Sesquicentennial Programs check the park website at http://www.nps.gov/vick/planyourvisit/events.htm or call 601-636-0583.
Come learn more about Civil War history and the Vicksburg Campaign during these final historic Sesquicentennial observances and programs at Vicksburg National Military Park.