Postcards from the Perimeter
— National Park Service: Vicksburg National Military Park Mississippi
Vicksburg National Military Park is Pet Friendly
Vicksburg National Military Park is a Civil War site on 1,728 acres with
- a 16 mile road tour
- over 1300 monuments and markers
- a restored Union gunboat
- a 116 acre National Cemetery
The Park demonstrates how Vicksburg, a highly significant area during the war, was sieged, defended and surrendered for command of the Mississippi River.
Not to be Missed
Cruising down roads of south and east United States on our Perimeter Trip, I passed maybe a dozen National Park Service brown signs announcing Civil War sites. Since I didn’t know if those sites were very far off the road or even accessible in to RV and dogs, I passed them by.
When I saw the sign for Vicksburg National Military Park I didn’t want to miss what may be my last chance on this trip to experience a Civil War memorial.
I was further enticed to stop because I remembered a little of the Vicksburg campaign from a Civil War class I took a few years ago excellently taught by a good friend and history professor Dr. Charles Strickland (thanks Charles!)
Dogs Are Welcome
When I drove up to the gate to pay my entrance fee ($8), I wasn’t sure what to expect.
What a pleasant surprise to be handed a map for a 16-mile driving self-guided tour of the Park! So it wasn’t just a museum with a grassy field!
And dogs are welcome! (leashed under owner’s control, not in buildings, not left alone in vehicles)
As we slowly drove through the park, there were a number of instructional markers, memorials and busts by the side of the road.
Some markers were further up on the grounds requiring a short walk.
We learned where union and confederate troops were stationed and battles that were fought. (How do we know? Because actual Civil War veterans came to the park to tell the stories and mark the spots.)
Some parking is by the side of the road. Some is in parking lots. There are no RV spots so I just took several. Luckily it wasn’t busy that day.
Some of the tour meanders peacefully through the woods.
Near the end of the tour road was the U.S.S. Cairo, a restored Union gunboat (not pet-friendly), and a National Cemetery.
Pets are allowed in the cemetery but, personally, I wouldn’t take my dogs (especially Zack who likes to ‘mark’ stuff) out of respect. I don’t have a picture of the cemetery, but the sheer size of it and number of grave markers is simply heartbreaking.
Dog Tested, Dog Approved
All in all, we’re very happy we stopped. The dogs had a few good walks with air conditioned touring in between. I enjoyed it for the same reasons, come to think of it.
But, I was also a little overwhelmed to contemplate the bulk of history and military strategy and sheer human misery as I stood on the grounds where it all happened. How absolutely terrifying it must have all been.
I recommend planning to spend at least several hours in the Park.
National Park Service’s website: http://www.nps.gov/vick/index.htm
More about the Vicksburg campaign: http://www.americancivilwar.com/vicks.html
National Park’s suggestions for visiting with pets: http://www.nps.gov/vick/planyourvisit/pets.htm