Antebellum Mississippi and the Civil War...

Civil War era canons overlook a strategic point on the Mississippi River at Vicksburg.
Civil War era canons overlook a strategic point on the Mississippi River at Vicksburg.
  • Civil War era canons overlook a strategic point on the Mississippi River at Vicksburg.

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Day 3 - Vicksburg

View the film “The Vanishing Glory” as an introduction to the siege and fall of Vicksburg. The capture of the city was crucial to the Union victory. When direct charges failed, Union forces laid siege to the city, firing shells into the streets while the frightened citizens hid in caves dug into the bluffs. After 47 days, Confederate General John C. Pemberton finally surrendered the city to Grant on July 4, 1863.

Nicknamed “Vicksburg’s Attic,” the Old Court House Museum is packed to the rafters with antebellum and Civil War-era artifacts. The Court House building was itself a Civil War target – until Union prisoners were moved into the upstairs courtroom.

After lunch, spend the afternoon exploring the Vicksburg National Military Park, 1,800 acres of earthworks, cannons and monuments. A local historian will re-create the siege and battle as you tour the battlefield, noting the marked Union and Confederate lines and monuments honoring soldiers from both sides of the conflict. Also displayed at the Military Park is the USS Cairo, a Union ironclad sunk by the Confederacy and raised after more than a century underwater.

Days 4

Total – 39 Miles

Traveling east toward Jackson, Mississippi’s capital city, you’ll pass the site of the Battle of Champion Hill in Edwards. The Confederate loss at Champion Hill led to the fall of Vicksburg, and ultimately, to the collapse of the Confederacy. This significant battle is periodically re-enacted.

During the 1860s Union troops reduced Mississippi’s capital city to a smoking ruin, earning Jackson the dismal nickname “Chimneyville.” Your visit includes stops at the handful of historic structures that survived the War. Tour the 1842 Governor’s Mansion, which served as a Civil War hospital, and the magnificent Old Capitol Building where the Ordinance of Secession was passed in 1861. The Old Capitol is now the State Historical Museum.

After lunch, stroll the colorful formal gardens outside antebellum City Hall, and then tour the Manship House, home of Jackson’s Civil War-era mayor. Spend the rest of the afternoon exploring Jackson’s art, natural science or agricultural museums before enjoying a delicious meal in one of the capital city’s fine restaurants.

Old Court House Museum
1008 Cherry St
Vicksburg , MS 39183
(601) 636-0741
Vicksburg National Military Park and National Cemetery
3201 Clay St.
Vicksburg, MS 39180
(601) 636-0583
1842 Governor’s Mansion
300 E Capitol St
Jackson, MS 39201
(601) 359-3175
(601) 359-3175
Old Capitol Building
100 S State St.
Jackson, MS 39202
Manship House
420 East Fortification Street
Jackson, MS 39202
(601) 961-4724
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