Saturday, January 26, 2013

Vicksburg National Military Park

The last part of our camping weekend took place in Vicksburg, MS. Its about 30 minute drive from Poverty Point State Park. There is so much to look at here, we stayed for 3 hours.

 If you are a Civil War history buff, you know that capturing Vicksburg was the key to winning the War. The Confederate troops had an almost perfect spot in Vicksburg. With high bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, they could shoot down any Union ships that tried to sneak by. Grant tried three times to capture Vicksburg and he was finally successful. Grant had blocked off the Confederate troops food supply, leaving them only dogs, cats, and rats to eat. Finally the south surrendered.

The Military Park is a 16 mile driving tour of the Vicksburg battle grounds. The battle lines are well marked. Throughout the Park, there are buffs of special military men. There are also state memorials for every state in the War. I personally didn't like the Louisiana memorial. I took a picture of it and its basically a column with Louisiana written on it.  Illinois has the most impressive memorial. I didn't realize how many Illinois men died at Vicksburg.

 That's the Illinois memorial in the background! Its the white dome.

The Illinois memorial.

 Its an open dome (what happens when it rains?) and the darker plaques are covered with the names of Illinois soldiers who served in the War. Even if you speak in a whisper, it echos loudly. In in middle of the floor is the Illinois state seal.

Wisconsin memorial.
 Dave is at the tunnel entrance. The Union troops were at the bottom of a huge hill and had to think up a way to get to Confederate troops. So they dug a tunnel! Once they tunneled to the hill, they dug ditches crisscrossing the hill until they were able to shoot at the Confederates.

 This is the bell recovered from the USS Cairo, a ship sunk by a mine in the Yazoo River. It sunk in a few minutes and no one drowned. It stayed underwater for 100 years! The next few pictures are of articles taken from the ship.

 You can walk on walkways onto the ship.
 Steam boilers.

 A far away look at the USS Cairo.

 Dave loved the cannons! I think seeing all the cannons was his favorite part!

 The Louisiana memorial.

Poverty Point State Historic Site

All the pictures were taken from the Poverty Point State Historic Site visitor's center. They have a 20 minute video about the Indian mounds. I really liked the video, very informative. The last picture is actually a huge mound, the picture doesn't do it justice.  You can also go on a driving tour and drive right up to the Indian mounds.