EDWARDS, Miss. (WLBT) - A Civil War battle site in Hinds County, which was the site of a pivotal campaign for Vicksburg, is now a part of the National Park system.
Years of work from the state to the federal level have gone into the designation for the Champion Hill Battle site.
More than 800 acres will be transferred by the State of Mississippi to the Vicksburg National Military Park in hopes of advancing education and tourism.
During the Battle of Champion Hill in Edwards, Union and Confederate soldiers fought for Vicksburg and the control of the Mississippi River.
156 years later, it becomes a part of the Vicksburg National Military Park.
“My great great grandparents owned the land where we’re standing,” said Sid Champion V. “On the day of the battle their house was used as hospital”.
“When you add in new units at Champion Hill, Raymond and Port Gibson people will stay longer,” said Park Superintendent Bill Justice. “They will buy more gas. They will eat more food ,and it will have an impact not only just in Vicksburg but over here in Hinds county."
In 2014, legislation was passed in Washington to authorize the park service to acquire the land.
John Nau first visited the area as a teenager in 1960.
The business owner is one of two people who donated $250,000 to the Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign to aid the effort.
The organization hopes to raise $3 million for visitor access to the sites.
"It's my opportunity to help give back and maybe somewhere out there is another 14 year old in a few years down the road is gonna enjoy and learn like I did when I came here," said Nau.
The Vicksburg Park has an economic impact of $38 million annually.
Battle sites in Port Gibson and Raymond will also be added to the military park.