16 U.S. Code § 430h - Vicksburg National Military Park
In order to commemorate the campaign, siege, and defense of Vicksburg, and to preserve the history of the battles and operations of the siege and defense on the ground where they were fought and carried on, the battlefield of Vicksburg, in the State of Mississippi, insofar as title to the same has been acquired by the United States and as the usual jurisdiction over the lands and roads of the same has heretofore been granted to the United States by the State of Mississippi, shall be a National Military Park. The Secretary of the Interior is authorized to enter into agreements of leasing upon such terms as he may prescribe with such persons, who were on February 21, 1899, occupants or tenants of the lands, as may desire to remain upon them to occupy and cultivate their holdings, upon condition that they will preserve the then buildings and roads and the then outlines of field and forest, and that they will only cut trees and underbrush under such regulations as the Secretary of the Interior may prescribe, and that they will assist in caring for and protecting all tablets, monuments, or such other historical works as may from time to time be erected by proper authority: Provided, That the United States shall at all times have and retain their right, power, and authority to take possession of any and all parts and portions of said premises, and to remove and expel therefrom any such occupant, tenant, or other person or persons found thereon whenever the Secretary of the Interior shall deem it proper or necessary; and such right, power, and authority shall be reserved in express terms in all leases and agreements giving or granting such occupant or tenant the right to remain in possession as herein contemplated; and thereupon said occupant or tenant or other persons who may be required to vacate said premises shall each and all of them at once surrender and deliver up the possession thereof. It shall be the duty of the Secretary of the Interior to cause to be restored the forts and lines of fortification, the parallels and the approaches of the two armies, or so much thereof as may be necessary to the purposes of this Park; to open and construct and repair such roads as may be necessary to said purposes, and to ascertain and to mark with historical tablets, or otherwise, the lines of battle of the troops engaged in the assaults, and the lines held by the troops during the siege and defense of Vicksburg, the headquarters of General Grant and of General Pemberton, and other historical points of interest pertaining to the siege and defense of Vicksburg within the Park or its vicinity; and the Secretary of the Interior shall have authority to do all things necessary to the purposes of the park, and he shall make and enforce all needful regulations for the care of the Park. It shall be lawful for any State that had troops engaged in the siege and defense of Vicksburg to enter upon the lands of the Vicksburg National Military Park for the purpose of ascertaining and marking the lines of battle of its troops engaged therein: Provided, That before any such lines are permanently designated the position of the lines and the proposed methods of marking them by monuments, tablets, or otherwise shall be submitted to and approved by the Secretary of the Interior, and all such lines, designs, and inscriptions for the same shall first receive the written approval of the Secretary of the Interior; and no monument, tablet, or other designating indication shall be erected or placed within said park or vicinity without such written authority of the Secretary of the Interior: Provided, That no discrimination shall be made against any State as to the manner of designating lines, but any grant made to any State by the Secretary of the Interior may be used by any other State. The provisions of this section shall also apply to organizations and persons; and as the Vicksburg National Cemetery is on ground partly occupied by Federal lines during the siege of Vicksburg, the provisions of this section, as far as may be practicable, shall apply to monuments or tablets designating such lines within the limits of that cemetery. If any person shall, except by permission of the Secretary of the Interior, destroy, mutilate, deface, injure, or remove any monument, column, statue, memorial structure, tablet, or work of art that shall be erected or placed upon the grounds of the park by lawful authority, or shall destroy or remove any fence, railing, inclosure, or other work intended for the protection or ornamentation of said park, or any portion thereof, or shall destroy, cut, hack, bark, break down, or otherwise injure any tree, bush, or shrub that may be growing upon said park, or shall cut down or fell or remove any timber, battle relic, tree, or trees growing or being upon said park, or hunt within the limits of the park, or shall remove or destroy any breastworks, earthworks, walls, or other defenses or shelter or any part thereof constructed by the armies formerly engaged in the battles, on the lands or approaches to the park, any person so offending and found guilty thereof, before any United States magistrate judge or court, justice of the peace of the county in which the offense may be committed, or any court of competent jurisdiction, shall for each and every such offense forfeit and pay a fine in the discretion of the said magistrate judge or court of the United States or justice of the peace, according to the aggravation of the offense, of not less than five nor more than five hundred dollars, one-half for the use of the park and the other half to the informant, to be enforced and recovered before such United States magistrate judge or court or justice of the peace or other court in like manner as debts of like nature were, on February 21, 1899, by law recoverable in the several counties where the offense may be committed.
1966—Pub. L. 89–554 struck out provisions relating to appointment and pay of three commissioners to supervise Vicksburg National Military Park, and of a secretary.
“United States magistrate judge” and “magistrate judge” substituted for “United States magistrate” and “magistrate”, respectively, wherever appearing in text pursuant to section 321 of Pub. L. 101–650, set out as a note under section 631 of Title 28, Judiciary and Judicial Procedure. Previously, “magistrate” substituted for “commissioner” pursuant to Pub. L. 90–578. See chapter 43 (§ 631 et seq.) of Title 28.
Administrative functions of Vicksburg National Military Park transferred to Department of the Interior by Ex. Ord. Nos. 6166 and 6228, set out as notes under section 901 of Title 5, Government Organization and Employees.
National Park Service substituted for Office of National Parks, Buildings, and Reservations referred to in Ex. Ord. No. 6166, by act Mar. 2, 1934, ch. 38, § 1, 48 Stat. 389.
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