The Battle of Vicksburg was one of the most significant battles of the Civil War because it led to the Union’s control of the Mississippi River and effectively cut the Confederacy in half. The Confederate forces had the advantage of holding fortified high ground but the Union had twice the manpower. General Grant twice attacked the Confederate lines with little gain and high casualties. Grant decided to besiege the city, ultimately resulting in the surrender of the Confederate forces.
After the Civil War Union and Confederates soldiers worked to identify and mark battle lines and unit positions. The Battle of Vicksburg is one of the best marked battlefields.
The Vicksburg Military Park has over 1,000 monuments. These monuments honor units from the states involved in the battle, as well as individuals.
The USS Cairo Museum is within the Park and has the partially reconstructed ironclad gunboat.
After touring the Park for about two hours, we headed for downtown Vicksburg and the levee that is supposed to protect the city from flooding. Just like Paducah, the levee wall has become a place for murals. Leaving the levee, we followed the Vicksburg Scenic Tour for part of its route. The temperature had reached 97 degrees and we figured it was time to get into the air-conditioned hotel room.