Saturday, April 9, 2016

Guns and Drums and Rivers

We began the day at the one historic house we really wanted to see, the Pemberton House, belonging to the Confederate General who commanded the resistance to the Union during Grant’s siege of this city. Unfortunately, the National Park Service, which keeps it, deems it unsafe to be toured. From the outside it looked to be not too sound. So we went on to one of Sharon’s must-sees, the Lorelei Book Shop in historic downtown. There we ran into a couple who Sharon had been in library school with in the early 1970s and had a lovely visit with the proprietor, a transplanted Virginian. She gave us some interesting insights into Mississippi and its issues, and sent Sharon off with a bunch of regional literature and me with another guidebook to the Delta.

From there we hit a couple of local museums, The Old Depot railroad museum which was another old-school, local history, things and stuff museum and the Lower Mississippi River Museum which is operated by the Army Corps of Engineers and offered some interesting interactive exhibits on the river and its ecology and had as a major display the Motor Vessel Mississippi IV, the fourth of five Army Corps and River Commission boats to ply the river since the 1880s.

Then we were off to the main event of the day, the National Park Service’s Vicksburg National Military Park. A sixteen mile drive takes you through this highly commemorated battlefield that began to emerge through individual and military unit memorials around the turn of the previous century. And that pretty much rounded out our final day in Vicksburg.

Saturday we finish up the Natchez Trace, tour briefly the city of Natchez, and land in New Orleans by day’s end.

The Pemberton House, notice the damage at the right of the pediment

Riverfront with the levee

A Pelican. You want a PeliKan?

The Depot Museum, things and stuff

Ole' Man River

MV Mississippi IV

The Battlefield

The monuments and the signage give an awful sense of this battle and siege

The Shirley House, Union sympathizers in the Confederacy

The USS Cairo, sunk and then raised a hundred years later

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