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Wed, Jul 26



Vicksburg Civil War History Tour

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Vicksburg Civil War History Tour
Vicksburg Civil War History Tour

Time & Location

Jul 26, 2023, 8:30 AM CDT – Jul 30, 2023, 12:30 PM CDT

Vicksburg, 3330 Clay St, Vicksburg, MS 39183, USA


About the Event

General Information:

· Conference based at Hampton Inn - Vicksburg at 3330 Clay Street, Vicksburg, MS 39183

  • All participants are responsible for arranging hotel accommodations for the seminar, which is not included in tour price. $129/night double occupancy plus tax. Special pricing for participants based on room availability. MAKE HOTEL RESERVATIONS HERE. Use code: CCW
  • Please call to make your reservation at 601-636-6100 and mention you are part of the Chambersburg Civil War Seminars.

· Check-In will be in the hotel lobby about 1 hour before the day’s activities begin. You only need to check-in once.

· Each participant will receive a packet of tactical maps and a name badge at check-in

· Classroom sessions will be held in the Hampton Inn conference room.

· Bus tours will leave from the Hampton Inn parking lot at the specified time.

· You are welcome to stay at a different hotel and commute in each morning to catch the bus or attend the lectures.

Wednesday, July 26

· Bus leaves from Hampton Inn

· Lunch included

· Return by 5 p.m.

· Dinner on your own

8:30  a.m. - 5 p.m. Day 1 Bus Tour led by Tim Smith

Bus Tour Sites to Visit:

· Vicksburg National Military Park Visitor Center

· Fort Hill & Snyder’s Bluff

· Chickasaw Bayou Confederate Line

· Yazoo River Johnson and Lake Plantations and Union attack area

· Grant’s Canal

· Grand Gulf and tour earthworks

· Port Gibson, Bruinsburg Road, Windor and Bethel Church

· Travel Grant’s route northward to Auburn seeing Willow Springs Rocky Springs and Cayuga

Dinner on your own.

Thursday, July 27

Thomas Jodon Memorial Silent Auction

Held during the lecture portion of the conference, historical artifacts and other items will be available for bid throughout the day. The auction will close and winners announced at the end of the day. All proceeds support battlefield preservation. Please help us support the preservation of America’s history!

8:30  a.m.—12 p.m.  Morning Lectures

· Lectures held at Hampton Inn Conference Room  at 3330 Clay Street, Vicksburg, MS

Lectures include:

· Welcome & Introduction by Eric Wittenberg, program coordinator

Forward to Victory by General Parker Hills

Despite opposition from most of his officers, from the special assistant to the secretary of war, and from two of his three forward corps commanders, MG Ulysses Grant made the bold decision to move away from his forward supply base at Milliken's Bend.  He marched further south into Louisiana, west of the Mississippi River and deeper into enemy territory in search of dry ground on the east side of the River to engage the enemy.  This movement ultimately led to the capture of Vicksburg and to the opening of the Mississippi River for commerce.  Unfortunately, the details of this march southward into Louisiana have been misunderstood by most historians, and the genius of the move has been largely underrated.  This presentation will explain what really happened.

A Convergence of Events: The Climaxes of the Vicksburg, Gettysburg, and Tullahoma Campaigns Doom the Confederacy by Eric Wittenberg

Within a span of ten days in late June and early July 1863, three crucial campaigns in three different theatres of war climaxed with Union victories, thereby dooming the Confederacy. With the successful conclusions of the Tullahoma, Gettysburg, and Vicksburg Campaigns on July 3 and July 4, 1863—all decisive Union victories—the hopes of the Confederate victory waned. The hard offensive core of the Army of Northern Virginia was shattered at Gettysburg, the Mississippi River fell entirely under Union control, splitting the Confederacy in twain, and the Army of Tennessee was driven out of Middle Tennessee in a nearly bloodless campaign of strategy and maneuver. The tide turned during those critical few days. Our program coordinator, Eric Wittenberg, will discuss the significance of the convergence of these events.

12 - 2 p.m. Lunch on your own

2—5 p.m.  Afternoon Lectures

· Lectures held at Hampton Inn Conference Room  at 3330 Clay Street, Vicksburg, MS

“I Am Too Late”: The Battle of Jackson, Mississippi, During the Vicksburg Campaign by Chris Mackowski (via Zoom)

Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston arrived in Mississippi’s capital just in time to abandon it as Federal commander Ulysses S. Grant made an unexpected turn toward the city. “I am too late,” Johnston declared. Originally unplanned, the battle of Jackson proved to be a vital part of Grant’s overland campaign to capture Vicksburg.

"A Colorful Cast of Characters: Union and Confederate Commanders During the Vicksburg Campaign" by Jim Woodrick

Historian Jim Woodrick will examine the educational and pre-war occupations of the men who led Union and Confederate divisions and brigades at Vicksburg and will highlight some of the more unusual personalities among the commanding officers, including what happened to them following the siege.

Final Afternoon Speaker/Talk To Be Announced

5 p.m. Dinner included

6 p.m.—The Real Horse Soldiers by Tim Smith

Benjamin Grierson’s Union cavalry thrust through Mississippi is one of the most well-known operations of the Civil War. There were other simultaneous operations to distract Confederate attention from the real threat to Vicksburg posed by U. S. Grant’s Army of the Tennessee, but Grierson’s operation, mainly conducted with two Illinois cavalry regiments, has become the most famous, and for good reason. For 16 days (April 17 to May 2) Grierson led Confederate pursuers on a high-stakes chase through the entire state of Mississippi, entering the northern border with Tennessee and exiting its southern border with Louisiana. The daily rides were long, the rest stops short, and the tension high. Ironically, the man who led the raid was a former music teacher who some say disliked horses. Throughout, he displayed outstanding leadership and cunning, destroyed railroad tracks, burned trestles and bridges, freed slaves, and created as much damage and chaos as possible. Grierson’s Raid broke a vital Confederate rail line at Newton Station that supplied Vicksburg and, perhaps most importantly, consumed the attention of the Confederate high command. While Confederate Lt. Gen. John Pemberton at Vicksburg and other Southern leaders looked in the wrong directions, Grant moved his entire Army of the Tennessee across the Mississippi River below Vicksburg, spelling the doom of that city, the Confederate chances of holding the river, and perhaps the Confederacy itself.

Novelists have attempted to capture the large-than-life cavalry raid in the popular imagination, and Hollywood reproduced the daring cavalry action in The Horse Soldiers, a 1959 major motion picture starring John Wayne and William Holden. Although the film replicates the raid’s drama and high-stakes gamble, cinematic license chipped away at its accuracy. Based upon years of research and presented in gripping, fast-paced prose, Timothy B. Smith’s The Real Horse Soldiers: Benjamin Grierson’s Epic 1863 Civil War Raid through Mississippi captures the high drama and tension of the 1863 horse soldiers in a modern, comprehensive, academic study. This talk, based on the book, will bring you along for the ride.

Thomas Jodon Memorial Silent Auction closes following the last speaker. An announcement will be made.

Friday, July 28

· Bus leaves from Hampton Inn

· Lunch included

· Return by 5 p.m.

· Dinner on your own

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Day 2 Bus Tour led by Tim Smith

Bus Tour Sites to Visit:

· Raymond Battlefield

· Jackson

· Tour Old Capitol

· Champion Hill

· Big Black River Battlefield

Dinner on your own.

Saturday, July 29

· Bus leaves from Hampton Inn

· Lunch included

· Return by 5 p.m.

· Dinner on your own

8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Day 3 Bus Tour led by Tim Smith

Bus Tour Sites to Visit:

· Vicksburg National Military Park Stockade Redan assaults and approaches and northern Confederate line

· 3rd Louisiana Redan and Great Redoubt assaults and approaches, including Illinois Monument and Shirley House

· Railroad Redoubt area assaults and approaches

· Southern siege lines and Mississippi River batteries

Dinner on your own.

Sunday, July 30

· Bus leaves from Hampton Inn

· Return by 12:30 p.m.

8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Civil War Vicksburg Bus Tour led by Jim Woodrick

Itinerary will include a visit to Vicksburg's historic Cedar Hill Cemetery, the Old Warren County Courthouse, the site of two Civil War-era foundries, Christ Episcopal Church, Pemberton's Headquarters, the St. Francis Xavier Convent, Anshe Chessed Cemetery, and a number of historic homes associated with the Siege of Vicksburg.

Specific sites included in the tour, in order: Cedar Hill Cemetery/Confederate Cemetery; Hansford House; Duff Green; Christ Episcopal Church; Lakemont; Anchuca; Bethel A.M.E. Church; McNutt House; Planter's Hall; A.B. Reading Foundry Site; Old Court House Museum; Louisiana Monument; Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum; Freedmen's Savings Bank site; site of Daily Citizen newspaper office; Church of the Holy Trinity; John Lake House; Steamboat Landing; A.M. Paxton Foundry site; St. Paul Catholic Church; Balfour House; Pemberton's HQ; St. Francis Xavier Convent; McRaven House; Martha Vick House; Anshe Chessed Cemetery; USS Cairo.

Conference Completion by 12:30 p.m.

Thank you for your patronage!

Pricing Breakdown

Please note lodging is not included in tour price. Registration includes packet of maps, name tag, meals as described, and cold bottled water during bus tours.

Seminar registration fee schedule:

$925 Members Conference Package (Entire program)

$975 Non-Members Conference Package (Entire Program)

$210 Wednesday Only

$210 Thursday Only

$210Friday Only

$210Saturday Only

$190Sunday Only

*Early Bird Pricing - Save $30 when you register for the Members or Non-Members Conference Package by June 16, 2023. Use code EARLYBIRD27 for Members, code EARLYBIRD27 for Non-Members when registering online.


  • Members Entire Conference Pkge

    This ticket is for the entire conference and is a discounted rate for members of Chambersburg Civil War Seminars.

    Sale ended
  • Non-Members Entire Conference

    This ticket is for the entire Vicksburg Conference.

    Sale ended
  • Wednesday, July 26 Only

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  • Thursday, July 27 Only

    Sale ended
  • Friday, July 28 Only

    Sale ended
  • Saturday, July 29 Only

    Sale ended
  • Sunday, July 30 Only

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