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Panorama of Vicksburg, Mississippi
The city of Vicksburg overlooking the Mississippi River in the early 20th century

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Mississippi's Rock of Gibraltar
Do you know about the Rock of Gibraltar at the southern tip of Spain? The Greeks believed that Gibraltar was one of the Pillars of Hercules and no one dared sail beyond it. Later, when it came under British control, it became known as a symbol of British naval strength and was known as "the Rock." During the Civil War, a city in Mississippi was called "The Gibraltar of the Confederacy;" do you know which one it was?

The mighty Mississippi River flows past the historic city of Vicksburg. Built on a strategic location halfway between Memphis and New Orleans, Vicksburg became an important stronghold during the Civil War. It was known as "The Gibraltar of the Confederacy" because the Battle of Vicksburg was one of the Civil War's longest and most important campaigns. The city's eventual surrender in 1863 gave Union forces control of the Mississippi River and divided the South.

The Mississippi River has played a large part in the development of Vicksburg. In an 1873 flood, the river changed course and destroyed what was left of the city after the Civil War. The Great Mississippi River Flood of 1927 also had devastating effects on the city. After both of these natural disasters, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers provided assistance to Vicksburg by building canals, levees and other structures to protect this river city.

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