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Brad and Sherry Steiger


Please Visit his Official Web Site ~ edwardshanahan.com

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HAUNTED BATTLEFIELDS GHOST STORIES AND GHOST PHOTOS

Vicksburg National Military Park Ghost

Vicksburg National Military Park commemorates the campaign, siege and defense of Vicksburg. Vicksburg was a fortress located on high ground guarding the Mississippi River. Its surrender on July 4, 1863, coupled with the fall of Port Hudson, Louisiana, divided the South, and gave the North undisputed control of the Mississippi River. The Vicksburg battlefield includes 1,330 monuments and markers, a 16 mile tour road, a restored Union gunboat, and a National Cemetery.

Vicksburg National Military Park commemorates the campaign, siege and defense of Vicksburg. Vicksburg was a fortress located on high ground guarding the Mississippi River. Its surrender on July 4, 1863, coupled with the fall of Port Hudson, Louisiana, divided the South, and gave the North undisputed control of the Mississippi River. The Vicksburg battlefield includes 1,330 monuments and markers, a 16 mile tour road, a restored Union gunboat, and a National Cemetery.

Vicksburg National Military Park. Allow approximately 3-4 hours to visit this park. Start with the movie in the visitors center, then proceed with your driving tour. Visit the Cairo Museum at the midpoint of the drive. Vicksburg National Military Park was established by an act of Congress on February 21, 1899. The Veterans who fought in the Vicksburg campaign worked tirelessly to see the park was created.

SPECIAL NOTE TO GHOST HUNTERS:

You must apply in advance for a permit to use electronic equipment on the battlefield. Contact the national park well in advance http://www.nps.gov/vick/

The Battle of Vicksburg or Siege of Vicksburg was the final significant battle in the Vicksburg Campaign of the American Civil War. In a series of brilliant maneuvers, Union Major General Ulysses S. Grant and his Army of the Tennessee crossed the Mississippi River and drove the Confederate army of Lieutenant General John C. Pemberton into defensive lines surrounding the fortress city of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Grant besieged the city, which surrendered six weeks later, yielding command of the Mississippi River to the Union.

The Union siege lines and Confederate defensive lines were marked during the first decade of the 20th century by many of the veterans who had fought at Vicksburg, thus making Vicksburg National Military Park one of the most accurately marked military parks in the world.

Grant had captured Jackson, Mississippi, and Pemberton retreated to the west. Attempts to stop the Union advance at Champion Hill and Big Black River Bridge were unsuccessful. Pemberton knew that the corps under William T. Sherman was preparing to flank him from the north; he had no choice but to withdraw or be outflanked. Pemberton burned the bridges over the Big Black River and took everything edible in his path, animal and plant, as he retreated to the well-fortified city of Vicksburg.

The Confederates evacuated Haine's Bluff, attacked by Sherman, and Union steamboats no longer had to run the guns of Vicksburg, now able to dock by the dozens up the Yazoo River. Grant could now receive supplies more directly than the previous route around Vicksburg, over the crossing at Grand Gulf, and back up north.

Vicksburg Battlefield Ghost Photo sent to us from Jason Hornsby.

Over half of Pemberton's army of 17,500 had been lost in the two preceding battles, and everyone in Vicksburg expected General Joseph E. Johnston, in overall command of Confederate forces in Mississippi, to relieve the city—which he never did. Large masses of Union troops were on the march to invest the city, repairing the burnt bridges over the Big Black River; Grant's forces were across on May 18. Johnston sent a note to Pemberton, asking him to sacrifice the city and save his troops, something Pemberton would not do. (Pemberton, a northerner by birth, was probably influenced by his fear of public condemnation as a traitor if he abandoned Vicksburg.) Vicksburg was under siege.

In the twenty days since the river crossing at Bruinsburg, Mississippi, Grant had marched his troops 180 miles, inflicting 7,200 casualties at a cost of 4,300 of his own, winning five of five battles: Port Gibson, Raymond, Jackson, Champion Hill, and Big Black River, and not losing a single gun or stand of colors.

As the Union forces approached Vicksburg, Pemberton could put only 18,500 troops in his lines. Grant had over twice that, with more coming

The river was defended by a massive fort on top of what can only be termed as "a big ass hill". This steep embankment was able to withstand the enemy for the entire duration of the siege, and pose a huge problem to the Union ships on the waters, because some of the largest guns in the Confederate Army were mounted at the top. The Union Army never shut down this imposing battery of guns.

Joseph E. Johnston, the only possibility for a Confederate rescue, felt his force at Jackson was too small to attack Grant's huge army. While Johnston's force was growing (at cost to the rest of the hard-pressed Confederacy), Grant's was growing faster, supplied via the now-open Yazoo River. Johnston, lacking in supplies, stated, "I consider saving Vicksburg hopeless." The Confederate government felt otherwise, asking the cautious Johnston to attack, requests he resisted. Robert E. Lee had remarked that the Mississippi climate in June would be sufficient to defeat the Union attack and he resisted calls to ride to the city's rescue from the Eastern Theater; his Army of Northern Virginia instead invaded the North in the Gettysburg Campaign with the partial objective of relieving pressure on Vicksburg. Finally on July 1, Johnston's relief column began cautiously advancing due west toward Union lines. On July 3 he was ready for his attack, but on July 4, Independence Day, the Union guns were oddly quiet.

Vicksburg Cemetery Battlefield Ghost Photo sent to us by Gretchen Neeb.

On July 3, Pemberton sent a note to Grant, who, as at Fort Donelson, first demanded unconditional surrender. But Grant reconsidered, not wanting to feed 30,000 hungry Confederates in Union prison camps, and offered to parole all prisoners. Considering their destitute state, dejected and starving, he never expected them to fight again; he hoped they would carry home the stigma of defeat to the rest of the Confederacy. In any event, it would have occupied his army and taken months to ship that many troops north.

Surrender was formalized by an old oak tree, "made historical by the event." In his Personal Memoirs, Grant described the fate of this luckless tree:

It was but a short time before the last vestige of its body, root and limb had disappeared, the fragments taken as trophies. Since then the same tree has furnished as many cords of wood, in the shape of trophies, as the "True Cross."
Although there was more action to come in the Vicksburg Campaign, the fortress city had fallen and, with the capture of Port Hudson on July 8, the Mississippi River was firmly in Union hands and the Confederacy split in two.

The fourth of July holiday was not celebrated by most of the citizens of Vicksburg until World War II, because of the surrender of the city on July 4.

The works around Vicksburg are now maintained by the National Park Service as Vicksburg National Military Park.

Commanders
Ulysses S. Grant John C. Pemberton

Casualties
Army of the Tennessee 10,142 Army of Vicksburg 9,091 (30,000 paroled)


The Military Park was established in 1899.Since that time, many of the states who lost men and women in battle constructed monuments to their regiments within the park. None of them is as striking as the Illinois memorial. Inside this huge marble structure, every name of every soldier who served from Illinois is represented on plaques, or on the walls, and floors. Fifty steps lead up to the structure, representing a nation dependant on all of its parts to reach the goal.

 

Because of the tremendous numbers of men who were killed in this battle, transporting the dead back to their home states was impossible. Instead, the men were buried together in a site now declared a national cemetery. If you survey this field, you see hundreds of tombstones lined up. Some were tall, marking men of importance, and others are but a lump of stone, some without even names.

Union soldiers were laid to rest next to their Confederate brethren. In this war, everyone lost, and the pain and tragedy must have been unbearable for the families whose sons had gone off to fight to secure the nation as a whole. The human cost in all of this was incredible.

U S S Cairo Gunboat and Museum

USS Cairo Museum at the midpoint of the drive. Vicksburg National Military Park was established by an act of Congress on February 21, 1899. The Veterans who fought in the Vicksburg campaign worked tirelessly to see the park was created.

U. S. S. Cairo (pronounced Care-o), a union ironclad commanded by Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr., was named for Cairo, Illinois and commissioned on January 16, 1862. On December 12, 1862, in the Yazoo River north of Vicksburg, Cairo struck two underwater torpedoes (today called mines) sinking in less than 12 minutes with no loss of life. Preserved by mud and silt, Cairo sat on the bottom of the Yazoo River for 102 years. It was raised in 1964, and later restored. The ironclad is now on display within Vicksburg National Military Park.

The U.S.S. Cairo was one of seven ironclad gunboats named in honor of towns along the upper Mississippi and Ohio rivers. These powerful ironclads were formidable vessels, each mounting thirteen big guns (cannon). On them rested in large part, Northern hopes to regain control of the lower Mississippi River and split the Confederacy in two.
The "city class" gunboats were designed by Samuel M. Pook and built by river engineer James B. Eads. Cairo was constructed at Mound City, Illinois, and commissioned in January 1862. The Cairo was destined to see only limited action in the engagement at Plum Point in May and in the battle of Memphis in June. Her most significant action came six months later when she kept a rendezvous with destiny.


The Cairo's skipper, Lt. Commander Thomas O. Selfridge, Jr., was rash and ambitious, a stern disciplinarian, but an aggressive and promising young officer. On the cold morning of December 12, 1862, Selfridge led a small flotilla up the Yazoo River, north of Vicksburg, to destroy Confederate batteries and clear the channel of torpedoes (underwater mines). As the Cairo reached a point seven miles north of Vicksburg the flotilla came under fire and Selfridge ordered the guns to ready. As the gunboat turned towards shore disaster struck. Cairo was rocked by two explosions in quick succession which tore gaping holes in the ship's hull. Within twelve minutes the ironclad sank into six (6) fathoms (36 feet) of water without any loss of life. Cairo became the first ship in history to be sunk by an electrically detonated torpedo.


Over the years the gunboat was soon forgotten and her watery grave was slowly covered by a shroud of silt and sand. Impacted in mud, Cairo became a time capsule in which her priceless artifacts were preserved. Her whereabouts became a matter of speculation as members of the crew had died and local residents were unsure of the location.


By studying contemporary documents and maps, Edwin C. Bearss, Historian at Vicksburg National Military Park, was able to plot the approximate site of the wreck. With the help of a pocket compass and iron bar probes, Bearss and two companions, Don Jacks and Warren Grabau, set out to discover the grave of the Cairo in 1956. The three searchers were reasonably convinced they had found the Cairo, but three years lapsed before divers brought up armored port covers to positively confirm the find. A heavy accumulation of silt, swift current, and the ever-muddy river deterred the divers as they explored the gunboat. Local enthusiasm and interest began to grow in 1960 with the recovery of the pilothouse, an 8-inch smoothbore cannon, its white oak carriage and other artifacts well preserved by the Yazoo mud. With financial support from the State of Mississippi, the Warren County Board of Supervisors and funds raised locally, efforts to salvage the gunboat began in earnest.

Hopes of lifting the ironclad and her cargo of artifacts intact were crushed in October of 1964 when the three inch cables being used to lift the Cairo cut deeply into its wooden hull. It then became a question of saving as much of the vessel as possible. A decision was made to cut the Cairo into three sections. By the end of December the battered remains were put on barges and towed to Vicksburg. In the summer of 1965 the barges carrying the Cairo were towed to Ingalls Shipyard on the Gulf Coast in Pascagula, Mississippi. There the armor was removed, cleaned and stored. The two engines were taken apart, cleaned and reassembled. Sections of the hull were braced internally and a sprinkler system was operated continually to keep the white oak structural timbers from warping and checking.

In 1972, the U.S. Congress enacted legislation authorizing the National Park Service to accept title to the Cairo and restore the gunboat for display in Vicksburg National Military Park. Delays in funding the project halted progress until June of 1977, when the vessel was transported to the park and partially reconstructed on a concrete foundation near the Vicksburg National Cemetery.


The recovery of artifacts from the Cairo revealed a treasure trove of weapons, munitions, naval stores and personal gear of the sailors who served on board. The gunboat and its artifacts can now be seen along the tour road at the U.S.S. Cairo Museum.

Ghost of the Battlefield

Vicksburg is one of the most authentically haunted, historical towns that still exists in America today.

Next to Gettysburg Battlefield Pensylvanian, Vicksburg Is thought to be the next most haunted. Sounds of Cannon Fire or aften heard rumbling through thr hills and ecohing of the monuments. some have reported the sounds of ghost moaning and gasping for their last breaths.

Vicksburg National Cemetery lies on ground once manned by the extreme right
General William T. Sherman's XV Army Corps. Embracing 116 acres, the cemetery
the final resting place for 17,000 Union soldiers -- a number unmatched by any
national cemetery. Many say they have trp[ortrd seeing many union soldiers ghost wlking around the cemetery.


The cemetery was established in 1866, with the first burials in 1867. Soldiers
here had originally been interred at scattered locations in Arkansas, Louisiana,
Mississippi during the campaign and siege of Vicksburg. Record keeping was
haphazard under wartime conditions - grave locations were frequently lost.


Rows of gravestones from the Civil War in the National Military Park


Operating Hours & Seasons

Open daily, except December 25 (Federal Holiday)

Beginning in 2007, the Visitor Center and U. S. S. Cairo Museum will be closed New Years Day and Thanksgiving Day.

Visitor Center: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.;

Cairo Museum: October to March: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. April to September: 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.


ENTRANCE FEES

Commercial vehicles, 1-6 passenger capacity

Fees
$25.00 - Day

Commercial vehicles, 7-25 passenger capacity

Fees
$40.00 - Day


Commercial vehicles, Over 25 passenger capacity

Fees
$100.00 - Day

Daily Admission, non-commercial bus passenger

Fees
$4.00 - Day

Daily Admission, per vehicle

Fees
$8.00 - 7 Days

Golden Age Passport

Fees
$10.00

Details
The Golden Age (lifetime) passport is for U.S. Citizens 62 years of age or older. It entitles the bearer and those in the vehicle with him/her to admission to all federal fee areas, such as National Parks with entrance fees. It does not affect concession expenses or cooperating association bookstores. Must be purchased in person with identification.

National Parks Pass

Fees
$50.00 - Annual

Details
The National Parks Pass extends passport coverage to all National Park fee areas, for one year from the date of purchase. It does not affect camping fees, concession facilities, user fees, such as guided tours or cooperating association bookstores.

LOCAL PASSPORT

Vicksburg Annual (park) Pass:

Fees
$20.00 - Annual

Details
The Vicksburg annual park pass is valid only at Vicksburg National Military Park for one year from the date of purchase. It does not offer discounts for the cooperating association bookstores.

Vicksburg National Military Park
3201 Clay Street
Vicksburg, Mississippi 39183
E-mail Us

Phone

Visitor Information
(601) 636-0583
Fax

(601) 636-9497

ALSO SEE: THE TOP TEN MOST HAUNTED BATTLEFIELD LIST

Though the battles have long ago ended and the sound of cannons and muskets is but a distant memory, there are some souls who are still waiting for the call to “Retreat” – and for them, it may never come!

Make plans to visit a Haunted Battlefield today!

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