Monday, October 10, 2016

We had always planned to spend an extra day in Vicksburg.  We didn't realize we would spend the entire day visiting one attraction.  The Vicksburg National Military Park preserves the site of the Civil War battlefield with signage and an audio tour that is both immensely informative and entertaining and gives anyone a true feel for the logistics and scope of this battle.  Other displays clearly show the planning and execution on both sides that led to the Union victory. 

The states that had forces involved have since erected a variety of monuments to honor their participants.  I tried to get photos of all of them but missed a few.  Cathy and I were there for over five hours.  We did one 3-mile loop of the park on foot and then used our car for another 13 miles.

Here are the state monuments I found:







Kansas Plaque





Mississippi crest

New Hampshire

New York




I had never thought about how many states were involved in a single battle.  In addition to states' monuments, there are hundreds of small monuments commemorating the various fighting groups listing their commanders and the number of killed, wounded and missing at this battle.

Other notable monuments:

Ulysses S. Grant

Black Soldiers

This monument recognized, not a meeting of Lincoln and Jefferson Davis, but the schism of a divided country epitomized by the state of Kentucky with fighters on both sides. 

This one example of the way batteries are displayed throughout the park.  This particular one is the Battery De Golyer.  It was accompanied by an audio description you can hear for yourself by dialing 601-262-2100 and selecting location #1.

 Signs throughout the park were either in Blue for the Union or Red for the Confederacy.

The view from the bluff.  Why Vicksburg was so important to both sides.  With it under Union control, the Mississippi river was effectively lost to the Confederacy as a means of transporting troops or supplies.

The park also included a museum focused entirely on a salvaged Union gunboat, the SS Cairo (pronounced Kay-ro).  Much of the ship is original with some reconstruction to enable easier and safer viewing.  The museum includes a video of the actual salvage operation.

 While touring this park, I also came across another new flower to me--one I had seen several times while riding.  Perhaps someone can identify this.

All in all, this was the perfect way to spend the day to keep mind off the day before.  Today we head to a bike shop near Jackson to see if there is a way to keep me on the road.

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