Civil War Battlefield Conservation: Mississippi
Vicksburg National Military Park. Photo by Ken Lund/Flickr
The Conservation Fund’s work to protect Civil War battlefield sites in Mississippi highlights its dedication to preserving the state’s cultural heritage. With more than 8,000 acres protected in Mississippi since 1985, the Fund and its partners are upholding both the natural and the historic legacy of the state for generations to come.
Big Black River Battlefield At Vicksburg National Military Park
When Grant’s army marched on Vicksburg in May of 1863, Confederate General John C. Pemberton made a desperate attempt to hold off the approaching Union forces, but to no avail. The Confederates were routed.
The Fund purchased 28 acres, using its Battlefield Revolving Fund established by grants from the Gilder Foundation, in the area where U. S. troops massed before their three-minute bayonet charge that defeated the Confederates on May 17, 1863, enabling General Grant to close in on Vicksburg the next day. The Fund worked in partnership with the Civil War Preservation Trust and the state of Mississippi, which provided state funds to match 2-1 the federal funds for the acquisition.
The Fund negotiated the purchase of an easement over 200 acres in the area of the Confederate retreat at Champion Hill, Mississippi. We worked in partnership with the Civil War Preservation Trust and the state of Mississippi, which provided state funds to match the federal funds.
After the capture of Corinth in May 1862, the U. S. forces built an arc of fortifications, including Battery F, to prevent the Confederates from retaking the critical intersection of the railroads between the industrial and shipping facilities at Memphis and the ports at Mobile and Charleston. On October 3-4, 1862, the Federals initially manned and then abandoned Battery F in their successful defense of Corinth during the Confederate attack.
With our partners, we launched the preservation of the Corinth battlefield with the purchase of Battery F. Grants from the Fund’s partners, Ringier America, the National Geographic Society and Mr. and Mrs. John L. Nau, III, made possible the donation of the battery to the Friends of the Siege and Battle of Corinth. We also donated adjacent land that had been a gift from Harold and Peggy Isbell.
After their rapid march from the Mississippi River on May 1, 1863, Major General Ulysses S. Grant’s 24,000 troops hit 8,000 Confederates in a hard fought, eighteen-hour battle in the ridges and hollows in the area of the Shaifer house and the Rodney and Bruinsburg roads. The U. S. victory gave Grant the beachhead he needed for his successful Vicksburg Campaign.
In partnership with the Civil War Preservation Trust, Mississippi Department of Archives and History, and National Park Service, we secured a 623-acre conservation easement on important buffer lands in the Port Gibson Civil War Battlefield, site of the first major battle of the critical Vicksburg Campaign.