The battles of the Vicksburg Campaign include: Chickasaw Bayou, Arkansas Post, Grand Gulf, Snyder's Bluff, Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion's Hill, Big Black River, Vicksburg, Milliken's Bend, Goodrich's Landing, and Helena. Only the battlefield at Vicksburg is maintained by the National Park Service through the Vicksburg National Military Park.
Vicksburg National Military Park is located in northeastern Vicksburg, Mississippi: on Clay Street (US Highway 80) about one mile from Interstate Highway I-20.
Vicksburg National Military Park is administered by the National Park Service of the United States Department of the Interior. The mailing address is 3201 Clay Street, Vicksburg, MS 39180. Telephone: 601-636-0583.
The Park grounds are open daily until sunset. The National Park Service maintains a Visitor's Center and the U.S.S. Cairo Museum on the Park grounds, a gift shop, and audiovisual programs. The Visitor Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., the U.S.S. Cairo Museum is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Both closed Christmas.
On the Park grounds is a sixteen-mile, self-guided driving tour covering the critical areas of fighting during the final siege of Vicksburg. Interpretive markers, monuments, and artillery pieces are situated along the driving trail.
start with the introductory topics for the Vicksburg Campaign by clicking either Prelude, Overview of Battle, or Aftermath
What Happened During The Vicksburg Campaign?
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Control of the Mississippi River, whose course meandered over 1,000 miles from Cairo, Ill., to the Gulf of Mexico and divided the Confederacy into almost equal parts, was of inestimable importance to the Union from the outbreak of hostilities. The agricultural and industrial products of the Northwest, denied their natural outlet to markets down the great commercial artery to New Orleans, would be afforded uninterrupted passage. It would provide a safe avenue for the transportation of troops and their supplies through a tremendous area ill-provided with roads and railroads; the numerous navigable streams tributary to the Mississippi would offer ready routes of invasion into the heart of the South. Union control would cut off and isolate the section of the Confederacy lying west of the river--Texas, Arkansas, and most of Louisiana-comprising almost half of the land area of the Confederacy and an important source of food, military supplies, and recruits for the Southern armies.
A noted historian described this campaign: "The campaign was based on speed-speed, and light rations foraged off the country, and no baggage, nothing at the front but men and guns and ammunition, and no rear; no slackening of effort, no respite for the enemy until Vicksburg itself was invested and fell."
Among the military campaigns, few, if any, present action over so vast an area, of such singular diversity, and so consequential to the outcome of the war, as the great struggle for control of the Mississippi River. Seagoing men-of-war and ironclad gunboats engaged shore defenses and escorted troops along river and bayou; cavalry raids struck far behind enemy lines as the armies of the West marched and countermarched in a gigantic operation which culminated in the campaign and siege of Vicksburg.
(Text Adapted From: Vicksburg Historical Handbook Series - publication of the National Park Service. 1961.)
(Map Adapted From: Port Gibson: A Battlefield Guide, Terrence J. Winschel's pamphlet available at the Vicksburg National Military Park.)
revised: February 11, 2007
created: July 19, 2001
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