Mississippi Sidestep

Mississippi Sidestep (HM1L5W)

Location: Delta, LA 71233 Madison Parish
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Country: United States of America
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N 32° 19.258', W 90° 55.981'

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In 1862, powerful Confederate guns along Vicksburg's high bluffs kept the Mississippi River closed to Federal shipping. Union leaders decided the army should take the city by land to gain control of the river. But General Thomas Williams had a different idea—dig a canal across the foot of De Soto Point to bypass the batteries altogether.

In the June heat, Union soldiers labored alongside more than 1,200 formerly enslaved people to carve the 1.5 mile canal. Sunstroke, exhaustion, malaria, and dysentery plagued workers. Hundreds lost their lives. After just one month, Williams halted the project.

In January 1863, General Ulysses Grant took up the project once again. His plans were also hindered by widespread illness among the troops—and rising river waters that flooded Union camps. By March, Grant abandoned this dream of avoiding Vicksburg.

More to Explore
There's a whole national park out there! Grant's Canal is one of several locations in Vicksburg National Military Park. The green on the map protects and preserves the siege and defense lines where Union and Confederate forces faced off in 1863. Follow I-20 east to the main entrance on Clay Street.

You can see ...
  • Visitor Center exhibits, bookstore, and orientation film
  • 16-mile tour road
  • Battlefield overlooks
  • Monuments
  • U.S.S. Cairo Museum and restored ironclad gunboat
  • Vicksburg National Cemetery
  • Pemberton's Headquarters
HM NumberHM1L5W
Placed ByNational Park Service
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Wednesday, June 17th, 2015 at 10:02pm PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15S E 694572 N 3577890
Decimal Degrees32.32096667, -90.93301667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 32° 19.258', W 90° 55.981'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds32° 19' 15.48" N, 90° 55' 58.86" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)318
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling North
Closest Postal AddressAt or near Levee Rd, Delta LA 71233, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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