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Vicksburg is a city in Warren Countymarker, Mississippimarker, United Statesmarker. It is the only city in Warren County. It is located 234 miles (377 km) northwest of New Orleansmarker on the Mississippi and Yazoomarker rivers, and 40 miles (65 km) due west of Jacksonmarker, the state capital. In 1900, 14,834 people lived in Vicksburg; in 1910, 20,814; in 1920, 17,931; and in 1940, 24,460. The population was 26,407 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Warren Countymarker.

Vicksburg is the principal city of the Vicksburg Micropolitan Statistical Area, which includes all of Warren County.


The entire Choctaw Nation's location compared to the U.S. state of Mississippi.

The area which is now Vicksburg was originally part of Natchez Native American's country. After their defeat in the Natchez War of the 1700s, the area became part of the Choctaw Nation. Under pressure from the US government, the Choctaw Native Americans agreed to cede nearly 2,000,000 acres of land under the terms of the Treaty of Fort Adams in 1801. The treaty was the first of a series of treaties that eventually led to the removal of the Choctaw Nation to Indian Territory in 1830; however, many Choctaws remained in Mississippi, citing article XIV of the Treaty of Dancing Rabbit Creek.

The first Europeans who settled the area were the French, who built Fort-Saint-Pierre in 1719 on the high bluffs overlooking the Yazoo Rivermarker at present-day Redwoodmarker. On 28 November, 1729, the Natchez Native Americans attacked the fort in their country (Natchez, Mississippimarker), killing several hundred people, including the Jesuit Father Paul Du Poisson, and carrying off most of the women and children. The Natchez War was a disaster for French Louisiana, but with the help of the Choctaw, the Natchez and their allies, the Yazoo were defeated and scattered.

A military outpost established on the site by the Spaniards in 1790 was known as Nogales, but it changed to Walnut Hills (Nogales is Spanish for walnut trees) when the Americans took possession in March of 1798.

View of Vicksburg in 1855

A sprawling community developed which officially incorporated in 1825 as Vicksburg, named after Newitt Vick, a Methodist minister and conscientious objector of the Revolution. During the American Civil War, it was site of the Siege of Vicksburgmarker, a significant event in which the Union gained control of the entire Mississippi River. The 47-day siege was intended to starve the city into submission, for its location atop a high bluff overlooking the Mississippi River proved impregnable to assault by federal troops. The capture of Vicksburg and the simultaneous defeat of Lee at Gettysburgmarker marked the turning point in the American Civil War.
Because of the city's location on the Mississippi River, its reputation in the 19th century often rested on the river's prodigious steamboat traffic. Between 1881 and 1894, the Anchor Line, a prominent steamboat company on the Mississippi River from 1859 to 1898, operated a steamboat called the City of Vicksburg. In 1876 a Mississippi River flood cut off the large meander flowing past Vicksburg, leaving limited access to the new channel. The United States Army Corps of Engineers diverted the Yazoo Rivermarker in 1903 into the old, shallowing channel to rejuvenate the waterfront. Railroad access to the west was by transfer steamers and ferry barges until a combination railroad and highway bridge was built in 1929. This is the only Mississippi River rail crossing between Baton Rougemarker and Memphismarker and the only highway crossing between Natchez and Greenvillemarker. Interstate 20 bridged the river after 1973 and freight rail traffic still crosses via the old bridge. North-South transportation links are by the Mississippi River and U.S. Highway 61.
The historic 1894 Mississippi River Commission Building

On March 12, 1894, the popular soft drink Coca-Cola was bottled for the first time in Vicksburg by Joseph Biedenharn, a local confectioner. Today, surviving nineteenth-century Biedenharn soda bottles are prized by collectors of Coca-Cola memorabilia, and his candy store is the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum.

Vicksburg served as the primary refugee gathering point and temporary housing during the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 which submerged a large percentage of the Mississippi Delta. That flood was the impetus towards establishment of the United States Army Corps of Engineers Waterways Experiment Station as the primary hydraulics laboratory to develop protection from the river. That establishment, now known as the Engineer Research and Development Centermarker, works in the areas of military engineering, information technology, environmental engineering, hydraulic engineering, and geotechnical engineering.

Racial unrest

Vicksburg’s history is scarred by racial unrest, including numerous lynchings and the Vicksburg Massacre which occurred on December 7, 1874, in which at least 50 black residents were murdered. Some accounts state that upwards of 300 blacks were killed in Vicksburg and the surrounding area. The killings were the result of whites fighting to remove black elected officials in Vicksburg. President Ulysses S. Grant sent Federal troops to Vicksburg to quell the violence.

The Mississippi Plan of 1875 sprang up in the aftermath of the Vicksburg Massacre; this consisted of intimidating black voters into staying away from the polls, thereby preventing the election of black officials.


Vicksburg is located at (32.335986, -90.875356) . According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 35.3 square miles (98.32 km²), of which 32.9  square miles (85.2 km²) is land and 2.4 square miles (6.2 km²) (6.78%) is water. It is located at the confluence of the Mississippi River and Yazoo Rivermarker.


Mississippi River at Vicksburg
As of the census of 2000, there were 26,407 people, 10,364 households, and 6,612 families residing in the city. The population density was 803.1 people per square mile (310.1/km²). There were 11,654 housing units for an average density of 354.4/sq mi (136.9/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 37.80% White, 60.43% African American, 0.15% Native American, 0.61% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races, and 0.59% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.04% of the population.There were 10,364 households out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.9% were married couples living together, 24.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 32.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.49 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.4% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 19.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 82.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,466, and the median income for a family was $34,380. Males had a median income of $29,420 versus $20,728 for females. The per capita income for the city was $16,174. About 19.3% of families and 23.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.8% of those under age 18 and 16.5% of those age 65 or over.

The city is also home to three large Corps of Engineers installations, The Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC), the Mississippi Valley Division headquarters, and the Vicksburg District headquarters.


The city government consists of a mayor who is elected at large. The current mayor elect is Paul Winfield, who defeated incumbent Mayor Leyens in the June 2009 election. There are also two aldermembers who are elected from one of two wards.


The City of Vicksburg is served by the Vicksburg-Warren School District,Vicksburg Catholic School (St. Francis Xavier Elementary and St. Aloysius High School), as well asPorter's Chapel Academy.


  • Confederate Army General John C. Pemberton, surmising that he could get better terms by surrendering the town on July 4 did so, and on that date he had his troops stack their arms and allow Ulysses S. Grant and Union troops to enter the city. Pemberton was thereafter scorned for his conduct of the siege. The city of Vicksburg did not celebrate the Fourth of July again until during World War II.

  • "Down around Vicksburg" is where the singer meets the "Mississippi Queen" in the rock and roll standard of the same name by the band Mountain.

  • Vicksburg is home to the McRaven Housemarker, said to be one of the most haunted houses in America.

  • Every summer, Vicksburg plays host to the Miss Mississippi Pageant and Parade.

Cultural references

  • Jacob Appel's classic short story, The Siege, takes place in Vickburg during the spring of 1863.

Notable residents

Sites of interest



  1. The Boys in the Band (1968) by Mart Crowley
  2. Appel, Jacob. The Siege, originally printed in The New Delta Review, Louisiana State University, Volume 16, No 2.
  3. Delta State’s Okra mascot to appear on Food Network’s ‘Good Eats’. Accessed 2008-07-07.
  4. Excitement building for Business Woman of the Year luncheon by Lynn Lofton, Mississippi Business Journal, 15-JAN-07. Accessed 2008-07-07.

External links

The ASci Corporation

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