River is a river in the
U.S. state of Mississippi. It is
considered by some to mark the southern boundary of what is called the
Mississippi Delta, a broad floodplain that was cultivated for cotton
plantations before the American Civil War. It has continued to be
devoted to large-scale agriculture.
River was named by French explorer La Salle in 1682 as
"Rivière des Yazous" in reference to the
Yazoo tribe living near the
river's mouth at its confluence with the Mississippi. The exact
meaning of the term is unclear. One long held belief is that it means
"river of death".
The river is 188 miles (303 km) long and is formed by the
confluence of the Tallahatchie and the Yalobusha rivers, where
present-day Greenwood developed. The river parallels the Mississippi
River in the latter's floodplain for some distance before joining it
north of Vicksburg, Mississippi. Natural levees which flank the
Mississippi prevent the Yazoo from joining it before Vicksburg. A
"yazoo stream" is a hydrologic term that was coined to describe any
river or major stream with similar characteristics. Potamologists
believe the Yazoo
River had its origins as the lower Ohio River.
The French (and later European Americans) historically called the
surrounding area of
Mississippi and Alabama the Yazoo lands, after the
river. This became the basis for naming the Yazoo Land Scandal of the
late 18th and early 19th century.
The river was of major importance during the American Civil War. The
Confederates used the first electrically detonated underwater mine in
the river in 1862 near Vicksburg to sink the Union ironclad USS Cairo.
The last section of the Cairo was raised on December 12, 1964. It has
been restored and is now on permanent display to the public at the
Vicksburg National Military Park. There are 29 sunken ships from the
Civil War beneath the waters of the river. The steamer Dew Drop was
reportedly sunk near Roebuck Lake as an obstruction to the United
States Navy, but Union sources claim the vessel was captured and
Variant names of the Yazoo
River include Zasu River, Yazous River,
Yahshoo River, Rivière des Yasoux, and Fiume del Yasous.
In 1876, the
River changed its course, shifting west
several miles and leaving Vicksburg without a river front. In 1902,
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers diverted the Yazoo
River into the old
river bed, forming the Yazoo Diversion Canal. The modern-day port of
Vicksburg is still located on this canal. The commercial navigation of
River has declined considerably since the 1990s and is
mainly concentrated on the section from Vicksburg to Yazoo City.
List of rivers of Mississippi
Flood Control Act of 1937
U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Yazoo
^ Johnson's (revised) Universal Cyclopaedia. 1886.
^ Mills, Gary B. "New life for the river of death:development of the
River Basin, 1873-1977". Journal of
Mississippi History. 41.
(Nov. 1979) 4, p. 287.
^ Smith, Frank E. (1988). The Yazoo River. Jackson: University Press
of Mississippi. p. 150 ISBN 0-87805-355-7
^ Stole, Bryn. (23 May 2015). "Goods moving on Yazoo
The Greenwood Commonwealth. (Greenwood, Miss). Retrieved 9 December
2015. Clarion Ledger website
Yazoo Basin - Engineering Geology Mapping Program PDF files of
publications about and maps of the geology of the Yazoo
Ecoregions of the
Mississippi Alluvial Plain
Ecoregions of Mississippi
One of many control structures constructed to control flooding and the
flow of water in the Yazoo
Coordinates: 32°20′8″N 90°53′50″W / 32.33556°N
90.89722°W / 3