City backs plan for pedestrian path near the Texas monument

Published 9:31 am Tuesday, November 22, 2016

A portion of land adjacent to the Vicksburg National Military Park, near the Texas Monument could become a multi-use path to the park pending negotiations between the property owners and the Civil War Trust and the approval of a Federal Land Access Program grant.

The Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday approved a letter supporting the Civil War Trust’s application for the $1.14 million FLAP grant to build a pedestrian/bicycle/mixed-use path called the Railroad Redoubt Loop and dedicate it to the park.

According to the letter, if the Trust gets the land and the grant, the city agrees to build the path provided there are no costs to the city.

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“The idea behind the project is to put a hiking loop through the area,” VNMP Superintendent Bill Justice said. “There is some land over there (on Melbourn) that is connected to the history of the Railroad Redoubt. The Civil War Trust is working with the city so we can put a trail in.

“We’re very pleased to be working with the Civil War Trust in this, like we are in so many projects with them.”

“The Federal Land Access Program provides (money) for new access to, or improved access to federal-managed lands,” said Brigid Leavy, grant writer with the Civil War Trust. “If we are approved to get the grant, the road on the property, which also runs through the park, would be the access.”

The Railroad Redoubt was a Confederate fortification built to protect the Southern Railroad of Mississippi, which was a vital entrance to Vicksburg at the time.

Union infantry forces attacked the redoubt, a square fortification on May 22, 1863, and fierce fighting ensued with the Union forces withdrawing with heavy loses as darkness fell. The Union’s failure to capture the redoubt and other fortifications along the Confederate line resulted in the siege of Vicksburg.

In 2015, the Civil War Trust acquired another piece of property off North Frontage Road just west of the Iowa Memorial. It was given to the park earlier this year during the observance of the National Park Service’s centennial.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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