Recognizing the need to address the proper burial of Civil War dead, Congress passed legislation to establish Vicksburg National Cemetery in 1866. The following year interments began at the cemetery, making it one of the first national cemeteries in America. More than 17,000 troops are buried in Vicksburg National Cemetery, the largest Union cemetery in the nation. Of these burials, the identity of almost 13,000 soldiers and sailors are unknown. The cemetery also protects the final resting place of a significant number of United States Colored Troops that served with distinction in the Civil War. Features of Vicksburg National Cemetery, including its perimeter wall, tree-lined roads, entrance gates, and the terraced landscape, reflect formal Victorian designs intended to honor the dead. This National Cemetery also contains the remains of veterans of the Mexican-American War, Spanish-American War, the First and Second World Wars, and the Korean War. Vicksburg National Cemetery was closed to burials in 1961.
Vicksburg National Cemetery is administered by Vicksburg National Military Park, and is located at Tour Stop 8 on the Tour Road near the USS Cairo Museum. The 3/4 mile Cemetery Road is open to vehicles, but many visitors choose to park a the USS Cairo Museum and walk the cemetery loop road.
Each year, the National Park Service, local veterans groups, and the city of Vicksburg hold remembrance events in the cemetery on Memorial Day. The events are free of charge and open to the public.
Last updated: November 30, 2023