History comes alive! Day 3 in Vicksburg full of culture
Click here to read day two of my road trip to Vicksburg.
I don’t know about you, but when I was a kid in grade school, the least interesting subject was history. As I get older, I am enthralled by history and can’t get enough of it. I have a theory as to why this has changed for me, and may be for you too. When we’re kids we have no history to draw from. When we age however, we become a part of history.
I have always been fascinated by WWII and have become a student of the war. Knowledge of the Civil War however, has always eluded me. This is all changing with my time in one of the most significant areas of the Civil War, the Battle of Vicksburg (also known as the Siege of Vicksburg I believe), which changed the course of the war. Today I visited the Old Courthouse, one of the most iconic structures in Vicksburg, which is now a museum and keeper of all things historic in Vicksburg.
I was lucky enough to get a private tour by Old Courthouse Museum curator, George “Bubba” Bolm. Bubba is a wealth of knowledge and I just loved listening to his stories. He showed me the very spot where General Grant gave his victory speech, and where soldiers carved their names and unit numbers into the soft stone. I also got a rare opportunity to traverse up to the coopula for a bird’s eye view of the rivers below, where Bubba pointed out Grant’s second attempt at penetrating the impenetrable Vicksburg by diverting the Mississippi River, which failed. Grant ultimately won the Battle of Vicksburg by cutting off supply lines and starving out the Confederate soldiers and the residents of Vicksburg. Ironically, the surrender took place on the 4th of July. I asked Bubba if it was symbolic in anyway, but he said it was just a coincidence.
As we were coming down from the cupola I noticed a library, or a storage area full of books that resembled a library. I was enamored by the beautiful leather binders and had to take a picture.
After my tour of the Old Courthouse I made my way to the Lower Mississippi River Museum, which is a venue that explores life on the Mississippi River. From illustrating how different communities have all utilized the river, to interactive displays and even a tour of one of the US Army Corps of Engineer vessels. There is also a 1500 gallon aquarium that highlights the different fish that inhabits the Mississippi River.
I was famished so for lunch I headed to Walnut Hills for some Southern cookin’ where I enjoyed some fried chicken. The Walnut Hills home was built in 1880 and features a striking wide porch, tall shutters and Vicksburg pierced columns. The place is obviously popular among locals as the expansive restaurant was packed to capacity.
For dinner that evening I strolled across the street from my hotel room at the AmeriStar, to the Casino on the river. I dined at their Bourbon’s restaurant, which features steak and BBQ in an atmosphere and manner that is distinctly Southern. Apparently the chef got wind that I was a travel blogger, so he insisted on sending me various items to try, which I happily accepted. As I waited for my first dish to arrive, took a gander out the window at the most extraordinary sight of the Old Vicksburg Bridge and river below. The restaurant is actually on the water, which really provides a great view for the dining experience.
I wanted to try some dessert, but I was simply too full. It was a wonderful end to another fantastic day in Vicksburg. Click here to read about day four in Vicksburg.