Licensed Battlefield Guide Seminar 2014

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Date: February 3, 2014
Contact: Tim Kavanaugh, 601-619-2908

Vicksburg National Military Park is currently recruiting and will be providing training for individuals wishing to become certified as Licensed Battlefield Guides at the park.

Licensed Battlefield Guides are not Federal or park employees, but are licensed through the park under special Congressional legislation as contractors to the park and the National Park Service to provide guided historic tours in the park and City of Vicksburg. Fees received by the Guides for these tours are set by the park, and vary depending upon the size of the tour group and duration of the tour.

To become Licensed Battlefield Guides, applicants must pass a thorough written examination on the Civil War and, in particular, the campaigns and Siege of Vicksburg. Those that pass the written exam must also pass an oral exam, where they bring a park ranger/historian out on an actual tour of the park, to qualify for their licensure.

To help prepare candidates for the exams, and to become Licensed Battlefield Guides, Vicksburg National Military Park has prepared bibliographies, research materials, and will be hosting a series of seminars over the next several months, as follows:

Tuesday, February 18th


1. Welcome from Supt. & Staff

2. The setting: Geography & Topography

a. The Mississippi River

b. Loess Soil

c. The Bluffs & Delta

3. Settlement & Economy

a. City on the River

b. The Cotton Kingdom

Tuesday, February 25th


1. The Union Dissolved

a. The Reasons for War

b. Mississippi’s Pros and Cons

2. War in the West

a. Fire & Water, War on the Rivers

b. Shiloh

Tuesday, March 4th


1. Fortress City:

a. Redoubts, Redans, Bluffs & Ravines

b. Defending the Confederate Mississippi, Vicksburg And Port Hudson

2. Farragut, Holly Springs, & Chickasaw Bayou

a. The Navy Tries & Fails

b. The Army Tries & Fails

c. The Sinking of the USS Cairo

Tuesday, March 11th


1. The Combined Forces

a. The Bayou Campaigns

b. William’s/Grant’s Canal

c. Running the Gauntlet/Amphibious Ops

d. Grierson’s Raid

2. Grant in Mississippi

a. Landing at Bruinsburg

b. Battle of Port Gibson

c. Battle of Raymond

d. Battle of Jackson

Tuesday, March 18th


1. Objective: Vicksburg

a. Battle of Champion Hill

b. Battle of Big Black River Bridge

2. The Gibraltar of the Confederacy

a. Assault of May 19th 1863

b. Assault of May 22nd 1863

c. The Siege of Vicksburg

Tuesday, March 25th


1. A Negotiated Surrender

a. Surrender and Parole

b. Military Ramifications – the Beginning of the End

2. Occupation and Reconstruction

a. A New Master in Vicksburg – Political and Social Change

b. Union Base, USCTs

c. Reconstruction and White Backlash

Tuesday, April 1st


1. The Art of Commemoration

a. Monuments, Busts & Plaques

b. Vicksburg National Cemetery

2. The Resource

a. Natural Resources

b. Cultural Resources

i. The USS Cairo

ii. The Shirley House

iii. Pemberton’s Headquarters

Saturday, April 5th


1. Port Gibson

2. Raymond

3. Champion Hill

4. Big Black River Bridge

Saturday, April 12th


1. Ranger-Guided Park Tour

2. Weapons Program – Artillery & Musketry

3. USS Cairo Tour

The seminars will be held at the park’s Visitor Center on Clay Street, and will run from 6:30pm until 9:00pm. The two Saturday programs/tours will be from 8:30am until 4:30pm. All are open to the public and are free of charge. You do not have to be a Licensed Battlefield Guide candidate to attend the programs.

For further information on Vicksburg National Military Park, please check the park website at, our Facebook page at, or by calling the park at 601-636-0583.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

3201 Clay Street
Vicksburg, MS 39183


(601) 636-0583

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