USACE Vicksburg District celebrates 150 years of service to the nation

Published 12:59 pm Wednesday, August 30, 2023

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Vicksburg District recognized 150 years of service to the nation with a formal celebration at district headquarters last Wednesday

Distinguished guests included Sam Andrews on behalf of Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves, Lt. Gov. Delbert Hosemann, State Sen. Kevin Ford, JoAnne Clark on behalf of Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith, Chase Emerson on behalf of Sen. John Boozman, Colby White on behalf of Sen. Tom Cotton, Hannah Livingston on behalf of Sen. John Kennedy, Stephanie Booker on behalf of Congressman Bennie Thompson, Brady Stewart on behalf of Congressman Michael Guest, Ramona Martin on behalf of Congresswoman Julia Letlow, Mayor George Flaggs Jr. and Gene Higginbotham.

The event included a signed proclamation by Reeves and remarks from Hosemann, who thanked the district’s past and present employees for their service. Flaggs also noted the district’s contributions to the region, particularly during floods in recent years.

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USACE Vicksburg District Commander Col. Christopher Klein presented Gene Higginbotham, a longtime public servant for various U.S. Representatives, with the Commander’s Award for Public Service Medal for his outstanding contributions.

Carl Young Jr., a winchman on the district’s Mat Sinking Unit (MSU), opened the program with the invocation, and the Vicksburg High School Madrigal Choir sang an acapella rendition of the National Anthem.

The district was founded on Aug. 18, 1873, when Capt. William Henry Harrison Benyaurd opened a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Monroe, La.

The first permanent Vicksburg office was established in 1884.

Following the Great Flood of 1927 and the subsequent Flood Control Act of 1928, the district created a comprehensive flood control program centered around the Mississippi River.

The effort’s lasting effects include four Mississippi lakes and three Arkansas lakes created as flood control reservoirs, as well as numerous miles of Mississippi River mainline levees and other flood control structures. The Vicksburg District’s projects and personnel continue to serve the region, the nation and the world.