Ulysses Grant Marches Again in Mississippi
It’s been 150 years since Ulysses Grant marched to Vicksburg during one of the most significant military campaigns of the Civil War, and now the city is inviting him back. Sort of.
Vicksburg and the state of Mississippi are working to turn Civil War history into a cash generator by attracting tourists with a penchant for the past. The latest initiative focuses on Grant’s march through Vicksburg along his path from Grand Gulf town square to Raymond.
Eighteen historical markers are placed along the 50-mile route including at the battle sites of Corinth, Brice’s Crossroads, Raymond and Vicksburg. These sites already draw thousands of visitors annually and the renewed push by the state’s tourism groups is expected to increase those numbers -- and the dollars that tourists pump into the economy.
Vicksburg and Mississippi have some of the most important Civil War sites in the country. President Abraham Lincoln said, “Vicksburg is the key. The war can never be brought to a close until the key is in our pocket.”
The Confederate surrender at Vicksburg is considered by many historians as an important turning point in the war, ranking alongside Lee’s defeat at Gettysburg just one day earlier. Civil War sites in Vicksburg include the National Military Park has more monuments than any other military park in the country and the National Military Cemetery is second in size only Arlington National Cemetery. The Vicksburg military cemetery has 18,000 Union soldier graves, the largest number in the nation.