Saturday, May 14, 2011

Southern Wedding Trip: Day 1 Vicksburg, MS

So, after a VERY hectic month (that won't be over until June 1st if you know what I mean-that's when school's out) I finally made it to the big Wedding Trip to Alabama. I met my aunt and uncle at my Aunt B's lakehouse. It rained the WHOLE time and I ended up hitting a wet spot in my aunt's neighborhood and spun my car in the ditch. It was horrible. But luckily we (my car and I just have a few bruises but are fully functional). We woke up at 6:00 and left for Vicksburg, Mississippi. Here's the first part of our journey together.

Barbara and I have a tradition of stopping at the state lines and taking our pictures. Terry wasn't aware so he passed it, Grrrrr but we stopped at the Welcome Center for coffee and bathrooms. I really do like Louisiana. Had never crossed at I-20...usually cross South from Houston on I-1o.
Unfortunately I didn't have anything planned for Louisiana so we didn't stop, but that was good because as you'll see we needed all the time for Vicksburg.
Soon enough we were crossing the (flooding) Mississippi River. And yes, as you can's a bit rough around here. Praying that everyone is safe and not too much of people's farms and houses/possessions are destroyed.
More flooding from the bridge (I took a lot of pictures as we passed on the bridge but we weren't sure Highway Patrol would like us stopping on the bridge to take pictures).

Soon enough we were in Vicksburg, right on the river. We stayed at the Quality Inn (gag me) but the bed was really comfortable, although no wireless signal.
Cute pool view, although I didn't have time to go.
The breakfast area...
Before going to the Battlegrounds we had lunch at McAlister's my Grandma Betty's favorite lunch spot.
Then we were off to the Civil War Battle site, Vicksburg Naitonal Military Park.
First we went to the Visitor's Center to watch a video on Vicksburg. Got my souvenirs (round 1) too.
The family's stayed in these cave-like storm cellars during the cannon fire from the Union Navy and Army.
Then we left for the 12-mile driving tour of the battleground and monuments.
Each state that sent troops to the battle of Vicksburg has a monument. Each look somewhat similar on the Union side.
Another Union monument.
There were at least a hundred cannons on the sites. Amazing set-up.
The Shirley House is the only surviving house of the area that was not destroyed, but the Union was ahold of it.
This is the only photograph taken of the area during the Battle. Crazy how much the land was torn up back then!
The Illinois Pedan was amazing! Reminded me almost of the Pantheon in Rome. Had the names of all the people from Illinois that were involved in Vicksburg, including Lincoln and Grant who were leaders at the time.

View from the Pedan stairs.
This is the Wisconsin monument. The eagle on top was named Old Abe and actually was with the troops. I got a children's book from the Visitors Center and it happened to be about this bird.
Old Abe is actually stuffed in the Wisconsin Legislature...
The troops actually dug big trenches thoughout the land and we drove around it we could kind of still see where the trenches were made.
A great view of the lookout over the Mississippi River... The Vicksburg Confederates were pretty much surrounded and ended up getting cut off from all food, water, etc.
The USS Cairo was a Union ship that was sunk by the Confederates about 3 months after it was built. Very neat to see such a primary vessel of the US Navy.
The Cairo
I loved the old wood that laid at the bottom of the River for years...
You could actually walk inside the boat on the pathways.
The Vicksburg National Cemetery. 17,000 Union soldiers are buried here. 13,000 of them are Unknown soldiers.
The smaller cubes are unknown, and just numbered.

The number system... Very solemn.
Another good view (if you look closely) of the battlegrounds and trenches.
This was the site of the Confederate headquarters.
The Texas Monument!
Up close...
More battlegrounds...
Then we went to eat at Walnut Hills from my 1000 Things to See Before You Die book.
It's a family dining restaurant where the sides are served in big bowls but you have to be a party of 6 for that. Since it was three of us we got individual orders.
I had the crab cake salad and it was WONDERFUL! OMG, great salad.
How's that for historical? Very neat...

So Day 1 was great. Day 2 and 3 have been fun too. I'm off to the wedding, though. Will post pictures of Day 2 and 3 tonight or Monday. Have a great weekend!

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