Vicksburg Battlefield Museum is located at Frontage Road in Vicksburg, Mississippi. It is accessible via Exit 4 on Interstate 20 and there is plenty of room for vehicles to park on site. The museum opens daily from 9am to 5pm but remains closed on Easter Sunday, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day.
The museum aims to provide a detailed history of the Vicksburg campaign and siege of 1863, which lasted 47 days. It helps to provide an understanding of how this affected the city and the impact it had on the local citizens, as well as discovering the strategies devised by the military leaders. Visitors are initially welcomed by a large battleship emblazoned with the name of the museum at the entrance.
One of the exhibits provides an overview of the battlefield by way of a 250 square foot model with 2,300 miniature soldiers. The model is made of foam and twigs with plastic soldiers hand painted by David Villere over a period of two days.The idea here is to give a much clearer understanding of the complexities of the military operations, which would be harder to appreciate actually walking around the battlefields at the neighboring National Military Park.
The Vanishing Glory is a 30 minute film shown in a 65 foot theater telling the stories of the people involved in the 47 day siege at Vicksburg. The photos used in this presentation have been digitally restored and enhance the story of the people and how they dressed and dealt with the siege, including how many of them had to live in caves dining on just peas and rats. There are diaries and letters to provide a clear understanding of how people felt during this difficult period.
The museum houses the world's largest collection of model gunboats from the Civil War as well as many other vessels from U.S military history. There are models of ships that fought on the Mississippi River during the Civil War, submarines, blockade runners, Confederate raiders, ironclads, tinclads, wooden gunboats, and hospital ships. Models are added frequently to a collection that covers the period from the mid 19th century through to the earliest submarine, merchant ships and onto the latest fighting ships.
Teachers and students are most welcome here with an effort made to present history in an interesting way. The museum is highly regarded by previous visitors, who recommend it or anyone interested in naval and military history or is keen to know more about the lives of people in Vicksburg during the Civil War. There is also a full service gift shop at the museum selling various souvenirs related to the Civil War including books, posters and replica weapons.
Visitors wishing to stay overnight or longer in the city will find the Battlefield Inn located next door to the museum. There are a number of restaurants nearby including Cracker Barrel Old country Store, Gregory's Kitchen and Roca Restaurant & Bar. The museum is on the door step of Vicksburg National Military Park, where there are other visitor attractions.