Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Vicksburg, MS National Battlefield

Had a couple hours to take in the Vicksburg National Battlefield.

Basic overview of this battle. Vicksburg was the last city on the Mississippi controlled by the South. Grant got here and tried to take it, but as the city is on the bluffs 300 feet above the Mississippi, the boats and soldiers were sitting ducks for the cannons. Grant tried trekking through the swamps to the north to get to Vicksburg, that didn't work as he was turned away. So on a huge gamble that even his most loyal Officers didn't think would work, Grant took his Army all the way around to the West, crossed below Vicksburg, then make his way back to Vicksburg from the rear. After a couple futile charges, Grant just waited out the South and after 40 days they surrendered.
One day after Lee lost at Gettysburg. These 2 battles sealed the deal, the South couldn't come back from these 2 defeats.

Was the Civil War worth the deaths? Was preserving the Union needed? Would having 2 Countries instead of one United States be such a bad thing? Did the South need to make a stand on the Slavery issue and try to secede? When is States Rights worth making a stand for? Tragic it had to come to this.
In my opinion, one has to see what the issue is before one can invoke States Rights. In the end, Slavery was and is wrong and the price paid to not allow States Rights in this case was, although horrific, justified by President Lincoln and backed by the North.

A lot of history here, of course.
Figured I'd high-light on WI. There were monuments every where for all of the States that were represented in the battle.

This goes with the monument below this pic.

Statues on each side of the WI Monument.

Union soldiers stormed across this open hill-side, twice. Crazy.
Illinois had a huge monument.
Navy Monument.

Union Ironclad that had sunk during the battle. It sank near shore and therefore preserved. It was raised in the 1960's with many articles intact.

Drying my laundry as I rode through the Park.
hmmmm......in the back of a Subaru, no less.


Nick said...

makes you wonder, if a country as influential as the US is today, had picked a 'winner' in our civil war, especially if that country had picked the popular view at the time...the view of the South.

mark scotch said...

It would be interesting to find out if there were offers to the South from other Countries. Seems it would have been an obvious choice for the British to back the South to have a little pay-back from the 2 losses of the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.

Without France's backing the USA during the Revolutionary war, it's doubtful the Americans would have been able to break from from the British.

Nick said...

True, but that external versus internal...I bet the state would have a different solution for kids that an aunt/uncle (i.e. keep it in the family).
I believe it's easier to justify in external intervention versus in internal one. Case in point, why are we in Libya and not in X, Y, or Z, all of which are internal problems (Sudan, Jordan, Egypt, Syria, etc)?