Tuesday, July 7, 2015

2015 Road Trip, Day 16: On the Banks of the Mississippi

 This morning, we left New Orleans bright and early and headed north to Vicksburg, Mississippi. 

We left New Orleans early enough that we were able to do a little exploring here in Vicksburg.  First we headed back across the Mississippi River to Delta, Louisiana to see the remnants of Grant's Canal.

Here, the Union Army tried to dig a canal that would bypass Vicksburg and connect their hold on the river.  It didn't work -- between men falling from sickness and a burst dam, Grant realized he was going to need to change tactics and just take Vicksburg by force.

It's also the home of the Connecticut Memorial.

There's also a memorial to the upriver battle at Milliken's Bend.  An all-Freedman regiment from the Union's Colored Troops  held off the Confederate army, keeping supply lines open for the Union so they could move downriver to Vicksburg.

We went back across the Mississippi to the Louisiana Circle. 

From the top of this bluff, the Confederates had a great view of the river -- and the ability to pick off Union vessels.  The Union ships passed through here - sustaining heavy damage - as it moved into position to take Vicksburg.

The campaign was Warfare 101 -- surround your enemy, push their backs to water, and wait.  I'm going to assume that Grant had a better map than the one I drew to explain how it went.

We decided to go for a ride towards Natchez, and pick up a portion of the Natchez Trace Parkway. 


At Milepost 41.5 is the "Sunken Trace" - a half-mile section of the old trace that you can walk along.

While we were in the trees, I decided to take some pictures of the kids.  I'm not thrilled with all of them, but most are good.

And a couple out-takes:

We headed back to our hotel. Next door was a grocery store, so we picked up some provisions to get us through the next few days.  We have a run of "day tour, evening drive, crash in a new town" days, so I wanted to make sure nobody was going to go hungry.  Tomorrow's plan is Vicksburg Military Park, a new state (Alabama), and crash in Montgomery.

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