After surviving our heart rattling thunder last night it was onto the Natchez trace parkway apparently rated as one of the great drives in the US.
We saw an old Indian tribal mound, a pretty little waterfall which even the sigh said needs a good darn rain to flow .. It was flowing! Old ruins of rocky springs township before heading west slightly to Vicksburg National Military Park – home to the bloody battle, siege n final surrender of the civil war on July 4th 1863.
The NMP is quite large with too many statues, plaques n memorials to count let alone see. The park is laid out with blue plaques n markers representing The Union (the north) n red for the confederates (the south).
To try n sum up the battle quickly the confederates recognized Vicksburg strength in its hills n high vantage points n set to take full advantage of this setting up guns n forts on all the ridges. The Union on the other hand weren’t doing so well by this stage n Grant was desperate to take Vicksburg. So long story short Grant tried numerous attempts n different methods to penetrate the confederates at Vicksburg. On several occasions they came awfully close but were repelled each time. The north eventually basically starved the confederates out (n disease) n it was then that the confederates leader Pemberton hoisted the white flag signally their defeat, n also the realisation that their quest for independence had just been lost. For the north it was victory. But all of this was at a cost of about 17,000 lives of which 13,000 are unknown n lay in graves at the Vicksburg cemetery marked as such.
There is quite a bit of work being done for the 150 anniversary next year as well as work to ‘reclaim’ the battlefields as they were, as was originally dictated by congress when the park was formed. In some was it is hard to make sense of the trenches n gun placements as the trees etc have obviously grown so the same line of sight etc is no longer there … All in all another place we could have spent far more hours in then the hours we actually did spend there. Oh the USS Cairo is also replicated in the park – one of the original iron clad river war ships of the north that was sunk by a torpedo in the Yazoo river. Very cool indeed
It was then on to Jackson for the night n hopefully a half decent nights sleep.
Mileage: 151 (243km)