Elks Lodge Vicksburg, MS
November opened with me in a dumpy RV park in Texarkana, AK. so I quickly packed up and moved down to Shreveport, LA. This ride took me on secondary roads with little traffic except for big heavy gravel trucks. From Shreveport, I connected up with I 20 and drove east to Vicksburg, MS and found the Elks Lodge with no problem. Parked behind the pool building and settled in. I was surprised that the lodge was closed in the evening which surprised me.
Vicksburg sits right on the bluffs on the Mississippi river and was the site of one of the major battles of the Civil War.
It was interesting to see the amount of barge traffic on the river. They were huge with 20 or more barges lashed together with a large tug boat pushing them up river against the current. At Vicksburg, the river takes a tight turn and the barges made it with no problems which was quite an achievement. There were several small casinos located on the banks of the river and I visited them with my typical luck. (not) On Sunday I finally saw some folks at the lodge and was invited to join them for the NASCAR race. We had a great time with good food and company. I got a crick in my neck trying to watch the race and the Patriots game because the TV’s were in opposite ends of the room. The race was good and my Patriots won their game.
Mississippi River Vicksburg
While in Vicksburg, I visited the battlefield and took a 16 mile driving tour all around the site of the battle. The battle at Vicksburg was the final link in the defeat of the Confederate forces controlling the Mississippi.
With the victory here, the Union forces held the river and the Confederate supply route was gone. General U.S. Grant was up against General John Pemberton who was in charge of the rebel forces holding the city. With the Union army circling the city from the east hammering the city with many batteries of artillery and many gunboats blasting the city from the river, Pemberton held for 46 days under siege before surrendering the city to General Grant. Unlike Gettysburg the driving tour at this battlefield does not allow you to visualize the flow of the battle due to heavy tree growth through out the tour. It is however, well marked with signs explaining what and where the attacking and defending forces were located. I read somewhere that this battlefield has more monuments than any other Civil War battle site. It seems that every artillery and infantry location is marked with a monument of some type. Some are simple stone markers while others are very elaborate tall statues or tall spires. The highlight of the tour is the U.S.S. Cairo Museum where they have on display a Union ironclad gunboat which was sunk by Confederate mines in the river.
Vicksburg National Park
It was salvaged in the 1960’s and found to be reasonably well preserved. It has been reconstructed and well presented. The museum has on display many of the artifacts found in the ship when it was raised.
Union Ironclad Cairo
Summary: Elk Lodge Rv Parking: 58; Escapee Rv Parks: 26; Public RV Parks: 55; National Parks: 70; Ships: 17; Forts: 30
Expenses: After 52 months on the road an average of $1964 per month