Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg, Mississippi
Confederate President Jefferson Davis considered Vicksburg, Mississippi “the nailhead that holds the South’s two halves together.” Control of the city was essential for controlling the Mississippi River, which meant control over rations for the south. Confederates fortified the city with riverfront artillery batteries and a ring of forts with over 170 cannons.
Imagine their surprise when Ulysses S. Grant held a 47-day siege on the city ending in surrender. A major defeat for the north! Even though the USS Cairo was shot down during the Civil War, it was still well preserved at the river’s bottom.
Visitors can match the footsteps of the brave men who fought here at the Vicksburg National Military Park. The gunboat has been restored, and artifacts can be seen at the site.