The Mississippi town of Vicksburg owes its place in history to the Mississippi River. That's why it can be a surprise to today's travelers to learn that the town is no longer actually on the Mississippi River. The twists and turns caused by erosion mean that Vicksburg technically sits on the Yazoo Diversion Canal, built by the Army Corps of Engineers after the city was left without a river in 1876.
Before that, of course, it was the river that helped Vicksburg gain its prominence. The city on the bluff started as a wealthy port for Southern planters and, after the state's secession, became an important focal point for the Confederacy. President Lincoln famously declared Vicksburg "the key" to winning the Civil War, and sent Major General Ulysses S. Grant to pocket it. The resulting Siege of Vicksburg, where the Union achieved victory after 47 days of keeping supplies out of the city, is seen as a major turning point in the war.
Today, Vicksburg is a historic highlight on a Lower Mississippi River cruise; touring the battlefield by coach, private tour or even bike is a must. Beyond that, the town has a few small museums where cruise passengers can pass the time.
Riverboats dock at Vicksburg Landing, where there's a park and a series of murals commemorating the city's history. The streets are steep leading up to downtown Vicksburg; cruise lines usually run a shuttle up and down the hill.