Our final stop before home was the Military Park at Vicksburg. We had only visited once before, but it has always stayed high on our list of favorite places. The detail and description of the fighting that took place in that area is unlike anything I have ever seen. There is just so much available on exactly where lines charged, generals stood, and formations were broken. Not only is the information spectacular, but the park is stunning. With so many beautiful monuments and scenery, it’s really difficult to imagine a terrible and bloody battle raged there for months.
Like in the mountains, it was difficult to imagine how soldiers could work their way through the dense foliage and the steep terrain while bullets were flying at them.
I don’t want to go up that thing. We did explore one of the tunnels that the Union forces used to take shelter and get across the Confederate-occupied road (it obviously was not all bricked in during the battle).
That’s definitely where I would have been during the entire thing. Actually, I never would have survived the march to get there. And most of the battle was during the summer. The last time we visited was in May, and just being outside of the car for more than a few minutes was almost too much to bear. God bless the people who have the physical and mental fortitude to make it in the military, because I would fail on all counts.
Halfway through, we stopped at our favorite part of the park. They have one of the only four Civil War-era ironclad ships in existence today, the USS Cairo.
The gunboat was built in 1861 and sunk when it ran over a torpedo in 1862. The boat remained buried below the silt of the Mississippi River until it was discovered in 1956 and salvaged in 1964. It was opened to the public in the early 1980s.
For some perspective, those wheels looked like this when they were recovered:
After visiting the Cairo, we stopped at the Texas memorial.
You see those abs? Texans don’t need tops for war. We are too sexy for shirts. I tried to be a ab-liscious Texan, but as usual, I failed.
My modeling skills could use some work.
After Vicksburg, we bid farewell to the east side of the Mississippi and headed home.