Become a Licensed Battlefield Guide

guide patch
Do have a passion for Civil War History and want to share that passion with others? Vicksburg National Military Park is continiously recruiting for new individuals to become a Licensed Battlefield Guide to help the National Park Service meet the increasing demand for battlefield tours.

Vicksburg National Military Park is one of only two units of the National Park System who are authorized by federal law to administer a guiding service. Licensed Battlefield Guides do not work for the National Park Service, but are hired individually by visitors and tour groups. The National Park Service credentials the guides and oversees the program.
Licensed Battlefield Guides are an important part of Vicksburg National Military Park. Each year, licensed guides contact over 12,000 visitors through guided tours. Licensed Guides help the military park reach new audiences, enrich the visitors' experiences and contribute to increased understanding and appreciation for the Civil War in Mississippi.

Licensed Guides are required to complete 3 tours each year, and must be active during the busy summer season in order for their license to remain valid. Guides can make themselves unavailable for tours at any time, but must meet their minimum tour requirements. Guides can expect to give tours to individual families, tour groups, military groups, boy/girl scouts, and school groups.

Guides are authorized to collect fees for their services. Depending on the type of tour, guides can expect to make between $50 and $100 dollars per tour. Tours are scheduled by the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors' Brueau through an agreement with the National Park Service.


Credentialing Process

Vicksburg National Military Park openly recruits for new Licensed Guides year-round. At anytime, and interested individual can schedule the written exam. The exam must take place in at the visitor center, and perferrably on weekends. Please budget 3 hours to complete the written exam. Upon passing the written exam, the prospective guide must conduct a pratical exam, consisting of a two-hour battlefield tour to a member of park staff or a senior Licensed Battlefield Guide.

Once all requirements are adequately met, the guide will be issued a license by the superintendent to conduct tours, and placed into the guide rotation.

To schedule an exam, contact the Licensed Battlefield Guide Coordinator.

Training Opportunities

Prospective guides are encouraged to request a training packet. This CD contains a suggested reading list, backgroung material on the military park and city, and a training manual. Training materials can be requested, free of charge, through the Licensed Battelfield Guide Program Coordinator.

An indepth knowledge of Vicksburg and the Civil War is required. Extensive preperation is required, no matter one's interest or existing knowledge of the siege of Vicksburg.

2018 Guide Training Seminar

Beginning in March 2018, Vickburg National Militay Park will be offering a free training seminar to help prepare prospecitve guides for the credentialing exam. All seminars will take place at the Visitor Center from 5:30pm-7:30pm. Prospective guides are strongly encouraged to attend all training seminars, and should sign up in advance with the Licensed Battlefield Guide Coordinator.

Wednesday, March 14th: Welcome and Orientation

Monday March 19th: City history and the Brown Water Navy

Tuesday March 21st: Secession and War, War in the West

Tuesday March 26th: Vicksburg the Fortress City and Failed Union Attempts to capture Vicksburg

Tuesday March 29th: The Navy and Army Connection and Battles of Port Gibson, Raymond and Jackson

Tuesday April 3: Battle of Champion Hill, Big Black River Bridge and the beginnings of the siege

Thursday April 5: Surrender, Reconstruction, and the African American Experience

Tuesday April 10th: Civil War Weaponry, Technology and Tactics

Thursday April 12th: Monuments and Commemoration, the Park Resources and Civilian Experience.

At the conclusion of the seminar, guides can sign up for times to complete the credentialing exam. The National Park Service does not offer this training opportunity every year.

Last updated: January 31, 2018

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Mailing Address:

3201 Clay Street
Vicksburg, MS 39183


(601) 636-0583

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