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Civil War History in Mississippi

February 10, 2006

On the road again. This past Monday we left Tennessee and headed south down I-55. Several miles into Mississippi and I spot a Super Wal-Mart. The RV needed an oil change and we needed some groceries. A quick stop to service the RV and refill the 'frig and we're back on the road.

We arrived at Askew's Landing Campground in Edwards, Mississippi, which is between the capital of Jackson and Vicksburg. The campground is a beautiful 300 acre campground with a large 15 acre stocked fishing lake, lots of geese, ducks, and other water fowl. If the campground had cable tv and wi-fi, I'd say it's the best campground we've stayed at so far. But without it, I say it is the second best.

Tuesday came and after school we went into Jackson to the state capital. Mississippi's original capital building was closed due to damage sustained during hurricane Katrina. However we did go to the new capital building where both the Senate and House of Representatives were in session. I'd also have to say that Mississippi's capital building was probably the most elegant on the inside that we've seen. It was like walking into the lobby of a luxury hotel. Lots of marble, lights, and carved trim work.

Again we watched a few minutes of both the State House and Senate Legislators debating different bills.

After leaving the capital, we still had about an hour before dinner time. On the way back across I-20 toward the campground was the Natchez Trace Parkway. The short section I drove in Tennessee was kinda nice so I thought we'd drive down here to see what it was like also. With it being winter and all the trees dead, it wasn't that pretty. It is probably a nicer drive during the spring and summer months. After 30 minutes down, we turned around to head back to eat.

We made it back to I-20 and went just two exits down to exit number 36. We previously saw that there was a Corkey's BBQ there. This was the same Corkey's BBQ restaurant chain from Memphis. I ordered a full-rack of ribs, which was a true full-rack this time. I wanted to try both their dry and wet rib so I ordered half and half. The dry rib was ok, not as good as Rendezvous in Memphis. They had a little too much seasoning on it. However, the wet rib with the sauce on it was much better than the dry ribs from both places. Corkey's BBQ also had better and larger sides. Cricket ordered the BBQ Trio with a few ribs, pulled pork and beef brisket. Hers came with the sauce already on it which she thought was too much. Other than that, she thought it was good.

Jake was happy to see us return to the RV. One because we were back and he receives our attention, but mostly because he smelled the BBQ on us. He also gets the bones afterwards, so he had a big feast upon our return!

On Wednesday after school we drove over to Vicksburg on the Mississippi River. It was a major battle area during the Civil War. General Grant had captured it to stop the flow of Confederate supplies up and down the Mississippi River. Today, the old section of town along the river looks like it is being revitalized due to the additions of several casinos. However, we didn't see much worth stopping for. We only pulled over twice. Once on the top of a hill to get photos of the old and new I-20 bridges crossing the Mississippi River and again in one of the casino parking lots to get a lower view photo of the same bridges.

After leaving Vicksburg, we continued south along Hwy 61 to Port Gibson. Port Gibson was said by General Grant to be a city "too beautiful to burn". Just before entering the town, we stopped at the Grand Gulf Military Monument. Grand Gulf was once a thriving town in the 1800's, but due to several natural disasters and the Civil War it is a virtual ghost town today. The historic park area houses a museum with some really good pieces of history from the Civil War along with several restored buildings from the period. We had a good time there and would recommend it to anyone if you're ever in the area, especially with kids.

Continuing south a few miles, we finally reached Port Gibson. We drove around the cute little town looking at the many old churches and stately plantation homes. I would have liked to have spent a little more time walking down the streets, but it was getting late and we needed to be heading back.

On the way back, we once again stopped in Vicksburg for dinner. Using the tourist information guide we choose the Riverfront Cafe to eat at. However it wasn't where the map said it was and we never found it. So our second choice, which the boys picked, was the Sun Koon Chinese Restaurant. It wasn't a buffet like most Chinese restaurants, but it turned out to be really good food!

Yesterday we decided to just hang out at the RV and campground. After school was over, we went down to the lake and went fishing. It wasn't the right time of day to actually catch anything, but the boys had fun. Lucas did manage to catch a tree. I told him he was getting to close to it while casting, but he didn't listen. I ended up having to cut the line and putting on a new hook.

Later on I went outside and washed the RV and the Blazer. OK so it was 45 degrees outside, but it was sunny! Afterwards I decided to go for a drive and see what was around. I didn't find much.

Anyhow, today we drove down to Biloxi, Mississippi. As it turns out it was another rainy day so it worked out. We saw a lot of Katrina damage on the way. There were downed trees and street signs, billboards blown over, and a lot of FEMA trailers at the campgrounds.

We've setup camp here at Mazalea Travel Park. Cricket's doing some work right now. Hopefully she'll be done soon. Since it is still wet out, maybe we'll go see a movie.

Thanks again for stopping by. We'll see you back here in a few more days.


The Askew's Landing Campground:

Mississippi State Capital Building:

From the Grand Gulf Military Museum:

1875 Hearse from New Orleans:

1862 Civil War Ambulance:

1923 Port Gibson Fire Truck built on a Ford Model T chassis:

1868 Great Gulf Catholic Church:

An old abandoned church building from the ghost town at Great Gulf: