Thursday, March 7, 2013


We left on Sunday for the next job in Abilene, Texas.  We decided to make it a 2-day trip and took the southerly route to enable us to stop at Vicksburg National Military Park.  Vol Fan's 3rd great grandfather was captured at Vicksburg when the Confederacy surrendered here after the siege.   So that tie to the history made our visit very interesting for him and his nephew, Dopey.

Some of the monuments were spectacular.  This is the Illinois monument.  It is a circular domed building with an oculus at the top like the Pantheon in Rome.  We had a ton of fun listening to our echoes!

I knew Vicksburg was on a bluff overlooking the Mississippi - that was the reason that it was such a hard-won victory for the Union.  It was a natural fortress.  But we were amazed by the amount of earthwork by both sides - tunnels, trenches, embankments, redoubts, etc.  All completed with a shovel.  Since Vol Fan has moved a LOT of dirt in his line of work, he couldn't get over it!  This is me in one of the smaller trenches.

The thing we found most interesting was the USS Cairo, which is pronounced kay-roh, like Karo Syrup.  The USS Cairo was sunk by a mine during the siege.  It lay untouched on the bottom of the river until it's resting place was discovered in the 1960s.  The remains were raised and pieced back together.  They used a method called 'ghosting' to reconstruct the ship - piecing the original ship parts with new.  It is now on display at Vicksburg.

 The USS Cairo sank in 12 minutes so none of the sailors had time to retrieve any of their belongings.  So the ship was like a time capsule when it was discovered.  A museum now houses all the artifacts recovered from the muddy river.

If you are driving I-20 in Mississippi, Vicksburg is a wonderful stop!


George said...

I've long wanted to visit Vicksburg. Perhaps I'll make it one of these days. I really enjoyed your photos of the Cairo. I've read about her discovery and raising, but your pictures are some of the best I have seen.

Betsy Adams said...

So glad that you got to visit that neat place.. We would love to see it someday. George was talking to me about the Cairo after reading your post...That guy knows so much about so many things. Amazing!!!! He said he'd love to see the Cairo now. How special!!!! Maybe we will get there sometime.


Mental P Mama said...

Cool! I had relatives in the Battle of Vicksburg, too! Wonder if they knew each other...

Busy Bee Suz said...

I'm thinking you two should start a travel show....damnit, I would watch. You find the most interesting things to see. Happy and SAFE travels to you all!!!! When are you coming to SW Florida????