Plaque at old bunker.
Where the cannon firing had been held at this bunker through the years.
The Vicksburg National Military Park (VNMP) Visitor Center.
Different cannon displays at the park.
Looking back towards the Visitor Center in VNMP on 4th of July.
An entrance arch to VNMP.
Looking back towards the VNMP Visitor Center.
The surrender site of the Siege of Vicksburg on July 4, 1863 on Pemberton Avenue.
Yesterday, I made the trip to The Vicksburg National Military Park to video a cannon firing to commemorate the 153rd anniversary of the surrender of Vicksburg by General John C. Pemberton to General Ulysses S. Grant on July 4, 1863.
A cannon detachment was fired on every hour between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. excluding the noon hour Saturday, Sunday and Monday at Tour Stop 1 Battery De Golyer. I missed the 1:00 firing and went back to the visitor center to watch the movie, The Siege of Vicksburg. As I was leaving the center everyone was told that the 2:00 firing was cancelled because the weather was threatening with thunder and dark clouds.
I did not read in the paper about it being held at Tour Stop 1 since it has always been near the VNMP Visitor Center.
Hourly cannon fire demonstrations near the visitor center have been a staple at the park for many summers, but because the park no longer has a ranger who is black powder certified, this holiday weekend was the only time there was cannon fire at the park this year.
A group of volunteer safety officers work together to fire a pound of gunpowder from the cannon detachment safely. Many of the volunteers have come back year after year and some have joined the service.
Even though the cannon fire is all for show, that doesn't mean their job is not dangerous. The group always runs the risk of getting injured because they are using an actual cannon.
Although Vicksburg commemorates the holiday now, the Fourth of July was not so openly celebrated in Vicksburg for years after the surrender.
The Confederate sympathizers didn't celebrate until Eisenhower's visit. It took victory over the Nazis in World War II for Vicksburg to connect with their American patriotism and begin to celebrate the national holiday again as the Cold War was heating up.
Time heals all wounds!
The post-war patriotism only lasted so long and did not reach full momentum until the country's bicentennial in 1976. Some say even as late as the 1990's the holiday was not a major summer staple.
Cedar Hill Cemetery