Website National Park Service/NCPE Internship Program
In the Spring of 2023, Vicksburg National Military Park and National Cemetery (VICK) will initiate temporarily disinter and store on site an estimated 50 to 80 endangered United States Colored Troops (USCT) burials dating to the Civil War. This work is necessary due to extensive damage caused by severe landslides in 2020 and 2021. After extensive planning, preliminary studies, and the start of Section 106 Consultation with a large number of local, state, and national level stakeholders, a memorandum of agreement has been signed committing the park to put specific mitigative measures in place to bring the lives of these soldiers, their descendants, and the black community of Vicksburg to the forefront and to bring justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion into full practice for all future interpretation of this critically important place for American Black History.
VICK now has an archaeological firm under contract to conduct the burial recoveries, osteological and artifact analyses, and collect samples for potential DNA or isotopic analyses in anticipation that future studies may be authorized prior to the eventual re-interment of these burials back in the national cemetery. All this work will be under direct supervision by park staff. VICK hired its own archaeologist in May 2022 to oversee this important project and facilitate all aspects of the project, including coordination with all interested parties.
The park archeologist and collections manager at VICK will jointly supervise and evaluate all work to be done by the intern, whose duties will include: Coordinating daily logistics & communication between the contracted archeologists working at the recovery site with those receiving, analyzing, and cataloging all burials, burial objects, grave markers, as well as any artifacts incidentally encountered that fall within VICK’s collection and curation policy. The intern will need to understand and be fully ready to assist with laboratory and fieldwork tasks as may be required and be fully adept at conducting archival searches locally and online on an as-needed basis. The intern will also need to be ready and able to engage with project stakeholders and properly engage with the general public in support of Section 106 Consultation and in full compliance with all park public and media communications policies for this high-profile project. Acting in a professional and respectful manner at all times will be of paramount importance for the full duration of this internship.