Monday, October 28, 2013

Milliken's Bend

After Grant's Canal we pushed on to another largely forgotten area, Milliken's Bend.  Along the way we saw a marker for the Duckport Canal, which was more part of the efforts to get past Vicksburg than a desire for the Mississippi River to cut Vicksburg out.

Then there was a marker for the Dalkeith Plantation that was along the bayou.  The marker says the house is still standing but we talked to a local who said the house is long gone.

And then some markers for the battle of Milliken's Bend.  The actual battlefield has been wiped away by the River.  We knew that going in but it was still interesting to be in the area where it happened.  We did go up on the levee in hopes we might have a view of the River but some trees blocked our view.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Grant's Canal

Our first stop on the tour was Grant's Canal.  Since my last (and only) visit to Vicksburg in 2000 there appears to be some changes.  For one thing there are more markers than I remember.  The first trip was pre-digital camera so I didn't take pictures of every marker and monument like I do now so I can't be 100% sure but there seem to be more markers now.
Of course this monument is new since then.  Its to the 9th Conneticut and has some amazing modern techniques being used.  Most of my pictures of it turned out kinda poorly because it is so reflective, you see all of the group gathered around the monument but a few shots did turn out.

And the highlight, I guess, is seeing Grant's Canal.  Or rather the depression that is left.  Its kinda humbling to think of all the hard work and effort that went into digging the canal, only to have it become rather useless almost immediately, and then to be little more than a ditch today.  If there were no markers here I wonder what people would think the depression was.  An old road bed perhaps? 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

NPS closure

As mentioned in the opening of this series we made our trip at the same time as the government shutdown. This meant we were kept away from our prime reason for the visit. If we had been going to otherbattlefields this would have been a huge deal. For vicksburg though this may have worked to our benefit. Most of the sites of the campaign are not national. So we were able to devote extra time to Port Gibson, Grand Gulf, Raymond, Champion Hill and Chickasaw Bayou. 

If there is one take away from the trip it is that Raymond is a real jewel. I'd never been there before and knew there was an active Friends of organization but I didn't know how much good they had done. We were all very impressed. I don't know what the next step is for that organization but I'm anxious to see what they do next

Wednesday, October 16, 2013


I recently returned from my first major battlefield trip in a long time. The Rocky Mountain Civil War round table does a study group nearly every year and this year everything aligned for me to go. 

It just so happened that we went at the same time as the government shutdown so we couldn't tour the national park like we had planned. All in all though we didn't really miss the national park. We still had a great tour focusing on things outside the park. My dad and I stayed an extra day to visit Shiloh and not going into the national park led us to some really great things. I'll post more later, and with pictures but wanted to give this brief introduction to the series, plus try out the new mobile blogging feature on my phone