Friday, April 8, 2016

Historic Vicksburg

When we were first planning the trip, Vicksburg was on my “A” list, largely for historical reasons. Arguably the course of the Civil War turned here when troops under the command of Major General Ulysses S. Grant beseiged the city for 47 days before taking its surrender on July 4, 1863, just days after George S. Meade allowed Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia to escape after their defeat at Gettysburg. Within the year, Lincoln would name Grant his commanding general and Grant would confront and ultimately defeat Lee and the Confederacy.

There is no question that the seige of Vicksburg looms large in the history of this city and it is undeniable that this charming river town suffers from the poverty of the south and of Mississippi, the poorest state in the nation. But the city, especially the historic downtown has its charms.

Thursday was a housekeeping day for us. When you travel for as long as we are, laundry becomes part of the routine. So, we did not hit the streets until after 1:00. After a nice lunch at KJ’s River Town Grille we roamed over a mile and a half of the downtown area, the highlight of which was the old courthouse now serving as a traditional “things and stuff” local history museum. They had some pretty good things, but also some totally unreconstructed Confederate history.

Friday we will explore further, hitting some more historic buildings and battle sites.

This charming building can be yours

This 19th century building was built for the Mississippi River Commission and is
used today by the Army Corps of Engineers

The old city hall, a charming turn of the century Beaux Arts building

These houses in various degrees of preservation

The old courthouse, today a local history museum

The courtroom

The river.
This marker shows the flooding of the river. At top is the 1927 flood, if the levees had held, which they did not. Note the level of the 2011 flood. The river has not been tamed.

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