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Camping Grand Gulf Military Park Campground

Camping Grand Gulf Military Park Campground in West Mississippi

Camping Grand Gulf Military Park Campground in West Mississippi

Camp Mississippi: I’m talking with Kathy today. She’s going to tell us all about Grand Gulf Military Park Campground in Mississippi. Kathy, why don’t you get us started by giving us a little bit of background on Grand Gulf Military Park?

Kathy: Sure. We are part of the Civil War Battlefield Campaign. Grant trying to take Vicksburg. We’re 30 miles south of Vicksburg, and Grant and his 24 thousand troops tried to come to land here so they could quickly go to Vicksburg. We have two forts that we maintain here. They are not John Wayne-type forts. We were at ground battle with the southern troops, and a naval battle with the northern troops. There were seven union gunboats in the Mississippi River firing on the two forts. One of the forts had the smaller guns, and they were silenced. The larger guns on the fort was Fort Cobun. That’s a mile down the road. We maintain that also. There are no buildings, but all original signage to read and go idea about where the troops were, and those are the ones that silenced Grant’s gunboats.

Camping Grand Gulf Military Park Campground cabin

Grand Gulf Military Park Campground

Now, Grant was not on one of those boats. He was a little bit North, at Hard Times, Louisiana. But because Fort Cobun shut his seven union gun boats down in this five-hour battle, he had to go 12 miles further south to a place called Bruinsburg, and he put 24 thousand troops onto the ground there. They came through Port Gibson, did what they call the Vicksburg Campaign, they went up toward Jackson, Mississippi, and then they came over to Vicksburg for the siege and shut them down July the 4th.

Camp Mississippi: Okay. Now, I’m looking on your website here. It looks like there are so many attractions in that area, even in addition from the Civil War, and in particular what caught my eye was a submarine apparently used during early Prohibition period to bootleg whiskey.

Kathy: Yeah. Yeah.

Camp Mississippi: And the picture of this submarine here. It looks like you couldn’t pay me enough money to try to get in that thing and go anywhere.

Kathy: No. And sitting right beside it is the Whiskey Still.

Camp Mississippi: Okay.

Kathy: People have been very good to us about giving us and loaning us things. Artifacts of all other kinds. Half of our museum is Civil War memorabilia. The other half of the museum are artifacts of all kinds from a letter from George Washington to bones. And out back is carriages and buggies and horses and wagons. Civil War ambulance. A whiskey still and the submarine. A jail cell from the town of Grand Gulf. Now, some of the properties are ours and some of them are loaned to us.

Camp Mississippi: Wow.

Kathy: But yes, we do have a whiskey still and a submarine. We also have a dogtrot house. We have 450 acres here. We have a dogtrot house that’s not original to the property, but original in its structure and that it was taken apart and brought here.

Camp Mississippi: Sure.

Kathy: We have a Catholic Church from Rodney, Mississippi, and it was also moved here, and that’s now a ghost town just south of town. Gosh, we have a couple of original buildings here. We have a pavilion. We have 42 RV camping sites.

Camp Mississippi: Okay.

Kathy: We have trails to walk and paths to walk in. Then we have seven camping sites as well – tent camping sites.

Camp Mississippi: Sure. So, yeah, that brings me to our next question, which is the types of camping you have there and it sounds like you could accommodate all types of campers as well from tents all the way up to RVs.

Kathy: Yes, we sure do.

Camping Grand Gulf Military Park Campground canon

The larger guns on the fort was Fort Cobun

Camp Mississippi: Okay. And what are the most popular activities for guests who come there to stay? Clearly one of them would be anyone who’s interested in any kind of war memorabilia and to see all the things you just mentioned.

 

Kathy: Yeah.

Camp Mississippi: Is there hiking and biking as well in the area, and things like that?

Kathy: Yes, limited biking. More hiking.

Camp Mississippi: Okay.

Kathy: We’re a mile and a half around, and then a half-mile down to the river. A mile down to Fort Cobun. So, there are shorter hikes.

Camp Mississippi: Sure. Sure.

Kathy: But we are only 30 minutes south of Vicksburg, where there is the Vicksburg National Military Park. And then 45 minute north of Natchez. Now, Natchez is not so Civil War significant, but very historical and in nature and a lot of walking and touring to see down there. Another thing for your guests – your readers – to Google is a place called Windsor Ruins. When General Grant and the troops couldn’t come to land here, they landed at Bruinsburg and as the crow flies across the street with Windsor Mansion. It didn’t burn until 1890, but the columns still remain. So, people do a day trip in Historic Port Gibson and look at the architecture and tour the town. Go out to Windsor Ruins, and they go to the old country store down there and have world famous fried chicken for lunch with Mr. D.

Camp Mississippi: I’m interested in world famous fried chicken.

Kathy: Yeah, wonderful. He’s been on the Travel Channel and a featured cook.

Camp Mississippi: Awesome.

Kathy: There are a lot of day trips to do as they camp here.

Camp Mississippi: Sure. Sure. It sounds like there’s no shortage of things to do.

Kathy: No.

Camp Mississippi: Two more questions for you, Kathy.

Kathy: Yes.

Camp Mississippi: If you were going to spend just one hour at Grand Gulf Military Park Campground, how would you spend your time there?

Kathy: I would spend it probably 30 minutes in the museum and walking around the immediate grounds here, and then I would go for the next half hour around the Park, seeing the two forts and going up the 50-foot observation tower, walking into the town cemetery, reading the tomb stones, which are just great.

Camp Mississippi: Awesome.

Kathy: That’s what I would do.

Camp Mississippi: Sure.

Kathy: It can be done in an hour. Other people spend six, but it can be done in an hour.

Camp Mississippi: It sounds great. And last question for you: if you were going to spend just one night at Grand Gulf Military Park Campground, which specific site would you stay at and why?

Kathy: There’s not a preference here. I would probably stay on the upper campground because they have fire rings up above.

Camp Mississippi: Oh, nice.

Camping Grand Gulf Military Park Campground Site
Kathy: But other people prefer. You know, they’re not going to sit outside, so other people prefer the down below campsites. The campsites are split half and half. Half up above; half down below. And they’re all full hook-up, 50amp, 30amp, water and sewage. We lock the gates at night. Call ahead if you’re going to come. We’ll tell you how to get in. Senior rate is 20 dollars a night. Adults below 60 are 23 dollars a night.

Camp Mississippi: Okay, perfect. Well, Kathy, thank you so much for taking some time out of your day to give us a little bit more information and tell us a little bit about the history there. We really appreciate that.

Kathy: Thank you. We look forward to having people come and camp.

Camp Mississippi: All right.

Kathy: Day tour or night.

Camp Mississippi: Perfect. Thanks again for talking about Grand Gulf Military Park Campground in Mississippi.

Kathy: Thank you. Come see us.

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