Today we visited the Vicksburg Battleground. This was one of the most important battles of the Civil War. There were so many ways that the outcome could have been completely different. The first, and most important, would have been if the Union armament and supply ships had been blocked at Vicksburg. This would have left Grant's troops with limited supplies and armament that were critical to the battle.
Every turn of the road, there are informative signs describing the events during the battle.
Every state that participated has a monument. Every divisions location in the battles is noted.
It is overwhelming to see the way the battles took place. The loss of life for limited advances. The charges that faced strong defences supported by solid lines of rifles and cannon. Standing at the line on each side and looking at the other caused me to think "How could anyone think the city would fall?". If Vicksburg had more stored supplies. If they had stopped Grant's supply ships passing on the Mississippi. If the Confederate army from Jackson MS had arrived earlier. There are so many ways this battle could have ended differently.
They have maintained the trenches and berms that were dug by troops during the war. Walking in the footsteps of the troops and looking to the opposing positions allowed us to see the battles from a soldier's view.
Near the end of the tour of the battlegrounds was the museum for the Cairo, an ironsides ship that was sunk by underwater mines during the war. Amazingly the entire crew was rescued.
Years later a very basic search technique was used to find the ship that had sunk in the Yahoo River. Because of the large amount of iron on board, the best method found to locate the ship was by use of a simple compass. Its reaction to the iron was what led the searchers to the ship's final resting place.
I took this picture to show just how thick the huge plates of iron were that covered the ship. Looking down the side, I could see where cannon balls had dented the plates.
We are a couple who have started on a new adventure...