Day 24-25 Vicksburg, Mississippi   1 comment

Traveling to Vicksburg was a challenge for most. Only 30 miles out from the campground, we met up with a horrible front coming through.

Before we knew it, the storm was over us and the rains came. Visibility was really bad, but there was no place to pull over, for miles.

Our group was lucky, only one lost awning and one driver side car window shattered.

We began our day of touring at the Vicksburg Battlefield Museum, now located in the Railroad Depot.

Along the river are some beautiful murals.

The riverboats reveal the evolution of the paddle-wheeler steamer to the present day work horses on the river, the tow boat.

Our tour guide for Vicksburg was engaging and interesting. She was born and raised in Vicksburg. Growing up, romping around on battlegrounds must have been an experience!

We began our tour with a movie at the National Military Park Visitor Center and toured all of the beautiful monuments in the Park. It has the most monuments than any other battlefield park.

The soldiers dug a lot of trenches and after the North won, Grant required the trenches to be filled so that they would not be used against him. Those poor soldiers in those wool uniforms digging and fighting in the hot, humid weather. Then to be rewarded over their win by having to fill what they dug! Over the years the trenches are somewhat visible because of the erosion.

In the photo above left, the cannon is directed at enemy lines, which is marked by the white monument in the distance. The most interesting piece of information about the Civil War was that was called “the gentlemen’s war” BECAUSE they only fought during the “day.” At night, they could be seen drinking and trading amongst themselves, then in the morning they were shooting at each other again! I find this amazing.

We gathered in the Illinois monument rotunda to sing “God Bless America” where we echoed, creating a beautiful sound.

The 1863 surrender of Vicksburg and Port Hudson, along with the defeat of General Robert E. Lee at Gettysburg, marked a Civil War turning point. For the rest of the war, Vicksburg was the regional base for Federal operations. It was also the prisoner-of-war exchange point. On April 24, 1865, over 2,300 Union soldiers released from GA and AL prisons left Vicksburg on the steamer, Sultana, headed upriver for home. Three nights later, near Memphis, the overloaded boat exploded and over 1,800 died (that’s more than the Titanic). It is America’s biggest maritime disaster, but remains a little known tragedy because of the news of Lee’s and Johnston’s Confederate surrender and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

Below if a photo of a Union war ship, USS Cairo that was sunk by a mine. It sunk in 12 minutes, all 175 men escaped.

Across from the ship is the Vicksburg National Cemetery, established in 1866. Of the nearly 17,000 Union soldiers buried here, about 13,000 are unknown.

We visited our first antebellum house, Cedar Grove. We received quite an education about life in the 1800s from our guide who is actually an historian. The gentleman who build Cedar Grove began construction when his bride to be was 14 years old. He waited until she was of the prominent age of 16 to marry her. They spent one year in Europe for their honeymoon, where they purchased and ordered the furnishings for their home.

Did you ever wonder why curtains sagged on the floor? Well, that was a sign of wealth. Back in those days, people did not “talk” about their wealth, they “showed” it. Material was very very expensive, so the longer your draperies, the wealthier you were!

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Posted October 17, 2014 by carolnbill in Adventure Caravans, Travel

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One response to “Day 24-25 Vicksburg, Mississippi

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  1. Looks like a real adventure!! Glad you are still having fun!

    Chuck and Gayle Ingham

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