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Civil War Round Table of Kansas City

Photographs of Vicksburg National Military Park, the “Art Park of the South”

President William McKinley signed the legislation establishing Vicksburg National Military Park on February 21, 1899. It was the last of the five Golden Age 
battlefields to be preserved following Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park (1890), Antietam National Battlefield (1890), Shiloh National Military Park (1894), and Gettysburg National Military Park (1895).

Former Confederate General Stephen D. Lee was the first chairman of the Vicksburg National Military Park commission. The Park and National Cemetery were 
transferred from the War Department to the National Park Service on August 10, 1933.

Vicksburg is one of the most densely monumented battlefields in the world, with 1,325 monuments, markers, tablets, and plaques. The park also has 20 miles of 
historic trenches and earthworks, 144 cannons, and the restored gunboat USS Cairo. 

Recognizing the need to address the proper burial of Civil War dead, Congress passed legislation to establish Vicksburg National Cemetery in 1866. The following 
year interments began at the cemetery, making it one of the first national cemeteries in America. More than 17,000 Union troops are buried in Vicksburg National 
Cemetery, the largest Union cemetery in the nation. Of these burials, the identity of almost 13,000 soldiers and sailors are unknown.

Two excellent books that provide detailed information on the establishment of Vicksburg National Military Park and its monumentation are:

  • The Golden Age of Battlefield Preservation by Timothy B. Smith, 2008.
  • The Memorial Art and Architecture of Vicksburg National Military Park, by Michael W. Panhorst, 2015.

Civil War Round Table of Kansas City
4125 NW Willow DR
Kansas City, MO 64116

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