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Preserve America is a national initiative in cooperation with the Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the U.S. Departments of Defense, Interior, Agriculture, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development, Transportation, and Education; the National Endowment for the Humanities; the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities; and the President's Council on Environmental Quality.

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Preserve America Community:
Vicksburg, Mississippi

Vicksburg, Mississippi (population 26,407) was founded in 1811 and incorporated in 1825. Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, Vicksburg was the site of a pivotal Civil War encounter in 1863. During the Siege of Vicksburg, Union troops fought a protracted 47-day battle before the city finally surrendered and the North gained control of the Mississippi.

To commemorate the event, Congress created the 1800-acre Vicksburg National Military Park in 1899, which is now part of the National Park System. 

After the war, the Mississippi continued to play a major role in Vicksburg’s history, as the city’s levees were rebuilt and steamboat traffic brought commerce and travelers to its door. But in 1876, the Mississippi eroded a new path across the DeSoto Peninsula, which destroyed the city’s railroad terminal and cut the port off from the river, devastating the city’s economy.  

The Army Corps of Engineers began a massive restoration to divert the Yazoo River south through the former Mississippi riverbed. In 1903 Vicksburg officially opened the diversion canal and declared herself a river city once again. Today, development of the dockside gaming industry continues the Mississippi’s influence on the economic life of the city.

Among Vickburg’s many historic structures is the recently restored Cobb House, a two-story brick Greek Revival residence built about 1835, which subsequently became a school and convent. Since its restoration, Cobb House has been used for community cultural events and tours by local schoolchildren and tourists.

The Old Court House Museum, housed in the 1858 Warren County Courthouse, welcomes nearly 40,000 people a year to its collection of artifacts and memorabilia. Vicksburg is engaged in a project, well underway, to paint 35 historic murals on the city’s downtown floodwall.

For more information

City of Vicksburg: www.vicksburg.org

Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau: www.vicksburgcvb.org

Posted April 29, 2009

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