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Vicksburg National Military Park is located near the city of Vicksburg, a location of extreme importance during the American Civil War; however, the area is not only historically important but geologically important as well. It was visited by a French naturalist and an English geologist in the early to mid-1800s, and a third visitor, Eugene Hilgard, studied the area and supplied the Confederate Army with salt and other minerals from the Vicksburg area during the American Civil War.
Vicksburg was considered by both Confederate President Jefferson Davis and then-President Abraham Lincoln to be vital to the outcome of the war. Whoever controlled the city would control the movement of supplies and troops in the area. Today the Vicksburg National Military Park is a memorial to the men and women who fought these battles on both sides; it has hundreds of monuments, tablets, and markers that were donated by the states that sent troops and by private groups. The items additionally represent the African Americans who fought in the battles and the U.S. Navy, which played an important role.
The terrain within Vicksburg National Military Park is moderate and shouldn't pose difficulty to anyone who wants to take a walking tour. You can start at the west end of the park, where you'll find Fort Hill and the USS Cairo Museum. Head east, and you'll pass the Stockade Redan and the Missouri State Memorial; the African American Monument is in the northeast corner of the park. Head south, and you'll pass monuments that were provided by the states of Louisiana, Michigan, and Minnesota.
As you near the southern tip of the park, the path becomes a loop that circles around, starting as either Union or Confederate Avenue (depending on which direction you take) and then switching to the other as you circle back. To the west of the park, the Yazoo River marks the state border between Mississippi and Louisiana as it flows south, where it joins the mighty Mississippi River. The Mississippi shoreline of the Yazoo River is where you'll find a museum, the Old Depot Museum, which has exhibits representing Vicksburg's history and culture.
As you continue on your trek through the park, some streams and ponds add elegance to the surroundings as well as help to provide water to the plant life; one of the water bodies within the park, Mint Spring Bayou, has two waterfalls where the stream passes over rock outcroppings. A second stream, Glass Bayou, passes through an open-ended cave before continuing on its way. The landscape of the park is a balance of tree stands and open grass areas that have been managed for both aesthetic appearance and to combat the erosion of the soils.
Book an RV in Warren County, and you'll be one step closer to beginning this memorable vacation. When you're ready, take your rental RV for a spin around the block or out onto the highway. Driving a motorhome rental is a unique experience and one that you don't want to miss. There aren't any RV campgrounds within the park itself, but there are a few that are a short distance away. The Ameristar RV Park at Vicksburg is just south of the military park and has shuttle buses that can take you to downtown restaurants and entertainment, or to a local casino (or both). The individual campsites have paved pads and 30/50 amp electricity, full hookups, and WiFi access. Sites have pull-through access, and the campground has restrooms with hot showers, laundry facilities, and a swimming pool.
Magnolia RV Park Resort is another place to park the Vicksburg camper rental; this pet-friendly RV park has full hookups and pull-through access at all of its campsites, plus cable TV channels and WiFi access. It is a short distance away from grocery stores and other amenities and has a shuttle bus that will whisk you away to the local casinos. If you choose to stay here, you will probably notice the red-ear turtles and deer that wander through the park without a care in the world, and the hummingbirds and red cardinals that pass through (among many other bird species).
River Town Campground is a little farther down the road but still close enough to get into Vicksburg when you need to. This open-air campground has full hookups, pull-through and big rig access, picnic tables, and deer may wander through and stop for a visit.
The town of Vicksburg, which is surrounded to the north and east by the military park, has a long history and a deep connection to the arts. The Miss Mississippi Pageant and Parade are held in Vicksburg each summer, and the town's Benevolent Club hosts a reunion for former residents that helps to raise money for scholarships for local students. Some of the reunion's attendees come from far across the country to participate.
Vicksburg is also renowned for its classical architecture, which includes the city hall, built in 1902, and it has a long list of notable structures and attractions. Some examples are the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum (Coca-Cola was first bottled in Vicksburg in 1894), the Jacqueline House African American Museum, the Old Courthouse Museum, and the Vicksburg Riverfront Murals.
If you're looking for some afternoon entertainment when you rent an RV near Vicksburg National Military Park, the town of Clinton is just down the road; this is where you'll find several urban parks, landmark structures such as Mississippi College and the Old Town Depot, and places to shop like an art gallery museum and a book store.