The Vicksburg Campaign Tour 20142017-11-16T03:01:30+00:00

About the Event

“Vicksburg is the key; the war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket.“ —Abraham Lincoln

Join us on the bluffs above the mighty Mississippi as we embark on a family history tour of Vicksburg, scene of some of the most touching narratives and striking providences of the Civil War. With a Pennsylvania-born Confederate Major General Pemberton pitted against the Illinois bulldog, Ulysses S. Grant, the consuming drama of Vicksburg played itself out with dire implications for both nations.

Prairie Dog Village

The fight not only consumed soldiers, however. The women, children and elderly citizens of the city were bombarded so mercilessly that they resorted to digging over 500 caves in the hills around the city and began living in them, causing Union soldiers to refer to the town as “Prairie Dog Village.” The stories of mothers buying rats in the marketplace and the starvation and deprivation that many underwent are reminiscent of medieval sieges.

Turning Point of the War

Pemberton surrendered on July 4, 1863. In the words of Abraham Lincoln, “The Father of Waters again goes unvexed to the sea”. Few battles in American history have had such profound implications for the outcome of a war. Combined with Gettysburg, which ended the day before in Pennsylvania, the Confederacy was dealt a terrible blow.

The town of Vicksburg would not celebrate the Fourth of July for 81 years.

This tour will encompass three major battlefields and a museum: Port Gibson, Champion Hill, Vicksburg and the Old Courthouse Museum. Today, the Vicksburg National Military Park stretches over 1,800 acres of fields, woods, and ravines and features over 1,300 monuments, markers, plaques and tablets. It includes the Vicksburg National Cemetery, the final resting place of 17,000 Union soldiers, the largest number of any national cemetery.

Car Tour

$49 per person (under 6 free) | $275 per family.

Landmark Events provides the professional guide, all venue admission costs and logistics.

You provide your own transportation and meals.

Ticket Information

Included in This Car Tour

  • Professional Historian/Guide
  • Opening Night Lecture
  • All Venue Admissions
  • All Guide Fees and Gratuities
  • Study Preparation Resource Recommendations

Attendees provide their own transportation and meals. If you have any questions, or if we can be of service in any way, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Ticket Pricing Information

Admit One:$49
Child (0-5):Free
Family:$275

Landmark Events’ Referral Rebates

Now through December 31, 2014, refer a friend or family to a tour you are already registered for and they will receive 10% off registration PLUS you will receive a rebate equal to the dollar amount you saved your friends! Keep referring people and save even more — all the way to up 100% of your ticket cost! Make sure your friends write your name in the referral field when registering.

Note: Refunds are based on actual revenues of referrals and will be issued after the conclusion of the tour. We will add your last name as a Discount Code within 48 hours of your registration so your friends can save money and you can earn rebates!


Tour Highlights

Please join us for one of the last Civil War Sesquicentennial battlefield tours in Vicksburg, Mississippi November 6-8.

From the earliest days of the War, President Abraham Lincoln knew the key to victory was the seizure of the Mississippi River. The key to that conquest was the city of Vicksburg “The Gibraltar of the West”. What proved to be the longest campaign of the war, by far, to capture the Mississippi River City, resulted in many Union failures and repulses before ultimate victory. The consensus among historians of the Civil War today is that the fall of Vicksburg marked the “turning point of the war”. Once the Father of Waters “flowed unvexed to the sea”, the days of the nascent Confederacy were numbered.

Indeed, Providence had situated that city on bluffs above the mighty Mississippi, where many thousands of Americans would die defending or trying to storm its parapets. With a Pennsylvania-born Confederate Major General Pemberton pitted against the Illinois bulldog, Ulysses S. Grant, the consuming drama of Vicksburg played itself out with dire implications for both nations and for the generals whose reputations were made or broken on its barricades. The fight not only consumed soldiers, however. The women, children and elderly citizens of the city were bombarded mercilessly and many resorted to living in caves and dugouts for survival. The stories of mothers buying rats in the marketplace and the starvation and deprivation that many underwent are reminiscent of medieval sieges.

This tour will encompass three major battlefields and a museum: Port Gibson, Champion Hill, Vicksburg and the Old Courthouse. Few battles in American history have had such profound implications for the outcome of a war. Combined with Gettysburg, which ended the day before in Pennsylvania, the Confederacy was dealt a terrible blow.

We will begin the tour at Port Gibson, where General Grant crossed the Mississippi a few miles downstream from the city as an outnumbered Confederate force fought valiantly to slow down the blue host. As Generals Sherman, MacPherson, and McClernand moved toward Jackson and Vicksburg, the Southern troops fell back fighting, and made a bloody stand at Champion Hill. Pemberton’s Vicksburg line was seven miles in length and Grant’s about fifteen miles. The siege of Vicksburg began May 25th and the soldiers and civilians trapped in the encirclement sustained bombardment, starvation, and disease while repulsing the hammer blows of the encircling enemy, capitulating on the 4th of July, 1863.

Event Speakers

Historian Bill Potter

Historian Bill Potter

An experienced historian and avid bibliophile, Bill Potter combines a lifelong study of American history with an uncommon ability to captivate audiences of all ages as he traces the providential acts of God throughout the ages. Mr. Potter has taught history in high schools and colleges, has led many tours of American and European historical sites and brings to each event a wealth of experience and knowledge. An experienced researcher and writer, Mr. Potter possesses a practical knowledge of antiquarian books, documents, and artifacts and has published several short books and has penned many articles and book reviews for publication. Bill has earned a well-deserved reputation as a man gifted in communicating the story of God’s providential hand in American history. As a father of eight children, he appreciates the necessity of passing on to the succeeding generations the richness of both our regional and national history. He and his wife, Leslie, reside in Virginia.

Event Schedule

Note: Venues and times subject to change.

Thursday, November 6
7:00pm Opening Night Lecture at Hotel TBA in Vicksburg
Friday, November 7
9:00am Port Gibson (12006 Grand Gulf Rd. Port Gibson, MS 39150)
2:30pm Champion Hill (20 miles east of Vicksburg on Champion Hill Rd.)
Saturday, November 8
9:00am Old Vicksburg Courthouse Museum (1008 Cherry St. Vicksburg, MS 39183)
10:30am Vicksburg National Military Park (3201 Clay St. Vicksburg, MS 39183)

Landmark Events cell phone while in Vicksburg: (210)-885-9351.


Accommodations

For your convenience, Landmark Events has secured a block of rooms at the discounted rate of $109 at the Hampton Inn & Suites 3330 Clay Street, Vicksburg. To make reservations, call 1‑800‑HAMPTON and mention group code VCT, or make reservations online and enter VCT where it calls for a group code. Reservations must be made by October 10, 2014. Thereafter, reservations will be taken on a space available basis only.

The hotel will serve as the venue for the opening night welcome and lecture, but keep in mind that you are welcome to stay wherever suits your family best.

Room Block Details

  • $109 for King or 2-Queen Suite
  • Rate includes complimentary breakfast (6-10am), and evening reception (5-7pm)
  • Located across from the Vicksburg Military Park


Study Prep

Key People

  • Gen. Ulysses S. Grant
  • Gen. William T. Sherman
  • Gen. James B. MacPherson
  • Gen. John McClernand
  • Gen. John Rawlins
  • Gen. John C. Pemberton
  • Gen. Carter Stevenson
  • Gen. William W. Loring
  • Gen. John S. Bowen
  • Gen. Stephen D. Lee
  • Emma Balfour

CivilWarInteractive.com

Issues

  • Strategies for victory
  • Loyalty to the Cause
  • Fear to lose and you may doom an ally
  • Perseverance in the face of adversity
  • Historical Revisionism

Bibliography

The historic works connected with the subjects we will teach and discuss is vast and impossible to cover in a few or even short books. Nonetheless, there are some books that will be helpful in both the short and long run for study of the historical artifacts of our tour, both intellectual and material. As usual, there is much on the internet that is very helpful for learning about the actual monuments and memorials we will visit, but their meaning, purpose, and relevance is at the real heart of our tour.

  • A River Unvexed by Jim Miles (highly recommended)
  • The Vicksburg Campaign by Ed Bearss (definitive, 3 vols.)
  • Vicksburg, 1864 by Winston Groom (easy and enjoyable read)
  • Article: The Siege of Vicksburg, Blue and Gray Magazine, Vol. XX, issue 4 by Terry Winchel (2003) (short summary with good maps)

Upcoming Events

Civil War in the West Tour
March 27-28, 2019

2019 Scotland Adventure
July 7-13 & 14-20, 2019