Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A trip to Vicksburg

Stockade Redan, Vicksburg battlefield
Bill had a major CW reenactment this past weekend, doing the 150th Anniv of the Vicksburg campaign 9 months early - too much going on next year and weather generally much better in the fall.  Left at 7 AM on Thursday, 10/18, taking MO-13 south to Springfield, then US-65 almost all the rest of the way there.  We covered much of the route in posts from April 2011 and Jan 2012, so I didn't take any notes while driving.  US-65 is 2-lane w/ climbing lanes from Harrison to Conway, and 2 lane south of Eudora; the rest is 4-lane (some divided, some not) or Interstate in Arkansas.  US-65 is 2-lane in Louisiana.  Total was 592 miles to Raymond, where the reenactment was held, in 10-1/2 hours.

5th Missouri Infantry marker - Bill reenacts this unit
On Friday, 10/19, I had grits for breakfast, toured the Vicksburg battlefield (see pictures) and then went down to a neat little museum at Grand Gulf (grt-grandfather W.L. Truman was there for a guns-vs-gunboats battle in '63).  Then toured part of the Port Gibson battlefield before heading back to camp.

CS side of Missouri monument

Wade's Battery marker - Bill's great-grandfather served in this unit

Chapel at Grand Gulf Military Park

Marker at Ft. Wade, Grand Gulf - W.L. Truman served in this battery

Kudzu - Can't wait too long at the bus stop!

Windsor Plantation ruins near Port Gibson - survived the war, burnt by a careless smoker.

Reenacting conditions were pretty warm and dusty, with lots of marching to get into position.  1st scenario was easily visible to paying public, afternoon event was less so (but of more interest for the reenactors since the unit Bill portrays was actually involved in the action).  Didn't stay for Sunday scenario as had a cold coming on pretty hard.

Trip back was easier - stops at LA and AR welcome centers, an overnight at Pine Bluff (HIE), and a stop at Smith's in Bolivar for a hot beef sandwich.  Did notice the Jehovah Java coffee shop in Laker Providence, and passed the Panola Pepper Sauce factory/farm (see Spring 2011 - we picked up some at Poverty Point).  Gas prices were best in MO & MS.  Best price I saw in AR was at Pine Bluff (where I had a gas stop scheduled - wow!).