Lecture series kicks off park’s 160th anniversary observance

Published 3:57 pm Friday, March 31, 2023

Saturday, the Vicksburg National Military Park and the Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign will begin the 160th anniversary of the Vicksburg Campaign with free programs conducted by Vicksburg National Military Park Licensed Battlefield Guides about the park and city’s importance during the American Civil War.

The programs will be held each Saturday throughout April starting at 4 p.m. in the park’s Visitor Center auditorium, 3201 Clay St. Each presentation will last between 30 and 40 minutes with time for questions at the end.

“What a perfect way to kick off this important commemoration than to have our licensed battlefield guides demonstrate their passion for history and Vicksburg National Military Park,” said Superintendent Carrie Mardorf. “For decades, the licensed battlefield guide program has connected thousands of visitors to this amazing park and city. It only seems proper for them to carry us into our 160th-anniversary programming.”

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Renowned former Mississippi Department of Archives and History historian Jim Woodrick kicks off the lecture series Saturday with his program, titled “A Curious Cast of Characters: The Union and Confederate division commanders in the Vicksburg Campaign.”

Woodrick will discuss the diversity of leadership on display in both Union and Confederate armies during the Vicksburg Campaign.

Other lecture series programs include:
• April 15: Harry McMillin: “Ulysses S. Grant: American Hero,” discussing the life and legacy of the 18th President of the United States with an emphasis on his military and political careers.
• April 22: John Groy: “John C. Pemberton: Defender of Vicksburg,” discussing the controversial Confederate commander of the Department of Mississippi and East Louisiana’s leadership and management of the Confederate operations during the Vicksburg Campaign.
• April 29: Don Milner: “Rear Admiral David Glasgow Farragut and the 1862 Mississippi River Campaign,” describing the complexities of Federal policy for controlling inland waterways including the Mississippi River and the outcome of the United States naval efforts to capture Vicksburg in the spring and summer of 1862.
For more information on the guide series and other special commemorative events please go to: www.nps.gov/vick/special-events.htm.

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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