Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The trip home...

Our short little road trip came to a close on Tuesday.  We woke up to a foggy morning on the Mississippi...


We didn't head back via the same route we traveled on Saturday though.  We drove north a bit and headed towards Vicksburg.  On the way to Vicksburg, we took a little off the beaten path stop by the Windsor Ruins outside of Port Gibson, MS. 

Windsor Ruins was formerly known as Windsor Plantation.  It was a 2600 acre plantation.  The home was completed in 1861.  Sadly the owner who built the home died only a couple of weeks after the completion at the age of 34 (kicking the bucket not long after building a grand house seemed to be a constant theme among these grand homes).  The home survived the civil war and was occupied by both Union and Confederate troops.  Mark Twain even stayed at the home and used the roof observatory to look out at the Mississippi River.  Then a guest at a dinner party was careless with his cigar (or cigarette) and burned the whole place down on February 17, 1890! 

This is Windsor Ruins today...





The plans and all photos of the home burned in the home, so it was unknown what the structure actually looked like until 1991, when historians found a sketch that a Ohio Union soldier had drawn of the home.  Now it is believed that it looked like this...

After that brief stop, we traveled on up to Vicksburg for a tour of the battlefield.  There are lots of monuments along the various battlefields...

This area has undergone some work recently.  Lots of trees were cleared from this area so that it resembles how it did during the battle for Vicksburg...



This is the only structure on the battlefield that was standing during the battle...

They showed this photo of the home during the battle.  Look at all those Union troops dug in around the house!  Can you even imagine if you lived there?!?  Lucky for them I guess, that they were Yankee sympathizers...


The Illinois monument...
From inside looking out at the battlefield...

We saw the remains of the USS Cairo Gunboat.  The Cairo was an ironclad gunboat that was sunk by Confederate underwater mines on the Yazoo River on December 12, 1862.  The gunboat was discovered and brought up in the 1960's.  It was preserved as much as possible...




Inside the museum they had lots of items that were discovered on board the boat.  It was pretty interesting.

Very close to the Cairo was the cemetery at Vicksburg.  It is the largest burial place of Union soldiers in the country...

After leaving the park in Vicksburg, we had lunch and then headed home, thus ending our road trip.  If you like seeing various parts of the country and old homes, I'd highly recommend Natchez!

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