A recent trip afforded us the opportunity to visit Vicksburg, Mississippi's National Military Park, which memorializes the battles and soldiers of the Civil War.

Entrance Gate

I am just shy of being a 'war buff';  what I mean is, I know a little about several wars, but not a whole lot on any particular war.  Take, for instance, the number of lives lost in the Civil War:  approximately 625,000 (which ranks the 'highest' of all the wars in which the US has been involved).  I had no clue that there were so many (okay, they might have told me that in 8th grade, but that was several years ago!!).

Civil War-Era Cannon

The Vicksburg National Military Park is now a scene that is a far cry from what it was back in 1863:  a serene, beautifully landscaped countryside, riddled with monuments, placards and statues.  It's a very nice drive (the visitor's center said it would take us around 2 hours; we like to read, walk and talk, so it took us nearly 4 hours!), with a paved road that meanders throughout the park.

Vicksburg, Mississippi

It is an eerie feeling knowing that the ground that we were walking on was once the site of a nearly 2-month long battle for control of Vicksburg, with soldiers entrenched in hand-dug fortifications, with little food or supplies, their friends laying near them injured or dead.

Vicksburg National Military Park

The drive to Vicksburg from Lafayette is about 4 hours, but well worth the time:  it's a great place to teach the kids some American History, and to brush up on what you learned in school!

Don't forget to stop by Monsour's for lunch when you are finished touring the Civil War museum!

(Via Wiki, National Park Service, Facebook)