Posts Tagged ‘civil war’


Apr 25

“Vicksburg is the key.  The war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket.” Abraham Lincoln. 

And he was right.  Rob and I knew it.  Which was why, disguised as harmless Canadian tourists, we found ourselves in Vicksburg, Mississippi this fine, sunny day:  to win, for ourselves, the key to America.  To fulfill all of Rob’s childhood hopes and dreams. 

Stealthily, we made our way to the battleground, now known as the Vicksburg National Military Park.  Lucky break: the park admission was free this week, as were all National Parks in America!  Our plan was exceeding beyond expectations. 

Inside the visitor’s cent(r)er, the park ranger was playing a tin whistle, spinning a yarn about Guinness beer and his youth spent in Ireland.  Sigh.  Guinness. I love you, Guinness.  But I digress…

With the ranger being so distracted, how could we fail?  Purchasing the interactive CD for the car, we set out to bring our plan to fruition: tour the park and learn more about the siege of Vicksburg during the Civil War! What.  We’re Canadian.  What kind of plan did you think we would have??

This site was far more interesting a tour than Gettsyberg. Sure, I was in High School when we (history class) went to Gettsyberg, but even Rob agreed. 

By the way, if you don’t know your history (it’s U.S. history for my non-American readers), the siege of Vicksburg was won by the Union lead by General Grant’s army.   Not by either me or my faithful companion.  Now, it’s time for a Guinness.  Sigh…

Ebony and Ivory

Apr 20

I have to say, Montgomery is the most historically opposed and interesting city I have ever been to.  Where else can you find a wealth of landmarks dedicated to the Confederacy, right alongside those noble benchmark achievements of the civil rights movement?  In a matter of blocks and minutes, you can stand on the very spot where Jefferson Davis was sworn in as President of the Confederate States, and then sit on the very bench where Rosa Parks waited for the bus ride that would change the course of history? 


Montgomery also boasts the first White House of the Confederacy, where you can very freely roam the grounds and look around.  In contrast, follow the trail of the march from Selma to Montgomery which helped define the struggle for human rights.  Every turn leads you to a different relevent, fascinating piece of history.  It’s almost overwhelming.

The Capital building is a stunning momument to this greatly conflicted state.  There are even a few surprises on the grounds, like a statue to Dr. J. Marion Sims, considered to be the father of modern genecology. 

But even odder than our good doctor, and certainly farther reaching, was this find.

Why is Rob wrapped around this tree in a rapture of love?  Because, this is a Moon Tree.  That’s right.  The seeds that were used to grow this tree were brought aboard the Apollo 14 flight to the moon.  Amazing.  With all of its contrasts, it’s really a tree from the moon that brings us all together.

Truly, Montgomery is the gift that keeps on giving.