In 1995, the old Association for the Preservation of Civil War Sites, using National Park Service (American Battlefield Protection Program) funds, contracted with the BGES to plan and execute a multidisciplinary conference to examine the “interpretative potential” of the Vicksburg Campaign. During a masterful series of public presentations and work sessions, BGES produced an actionable report that has served as a blueprint for planners seeking a way forward to present and preserve sites related to the campaign.
Today a number of the recommendations related to friends groups (including Grand Gulf, the Shaifer House, Port Gibson, Lake Providence, Raymond, Champion Hill, Big Black River, and Vicksburg) have been implemented. In other instances, where corrective action was not taken, we now see the sad byproducts of that neglect; sites such as the Coker House had to be taken down and a reconstruction done despite the support of the Governor of Mississippi, the late Kurt Fordice. Now threatened is the stability of the gunboat USS Cairo at the Vicksburg National Military Park. More than 20 years have passed since we recommended enclosing it in a climate controlled building. The report is available in five parts as downloadable pdf: