GenTraveling to Mississippi

vicsburg

Hello GenTravelers!

Who has traveled to Mississippi? I’ve never been there, but I think it’s being added to my GenTraveling bucket list pretty soon!  All I really know about Mississippi is the little ditty that helps me remember how to spell it…M-I-crooked letter, crooked letter….(Ok, I’ll spare you!)

When I introduced Dana McDaniel Britton last week and she mentioned her favorite GenTraveling excursion was Vicksburg National Military Park, I had to go check it out and write this highlight post, in case any of you were unfamiliar with it also!

This national park commemorates the Vicksburg campaign and battle because they were considered to be the turning point of the Civil War.  The victory there gave the Union control of the Mississippi River, so it was open as a supply line for the Army. General Grant’s Vicksburg Campaign is studied as a masterpiece of military operations.

The park has a cemetery that has 18,244 interments – but my genealogical heart is deeply sad at the fact that 12,954 of those interments are unidentified. Your heart is sad too, right?!?

Initially, I was confused at where Vicksburg National Military Park was located.  I thought Mississippi, but then an abundance of references to Illinois popped up in my browser!  Well, let me explain:

illmem

The monument above – The Illinois Memorial is located in the park. It was designed by a former Civil War major, W. L. B. Jenney to “preserved in enduring bronze and stone the name of every soldier from Illinois who participated in that memorable and decisive campaign and siege.”[source]  The monument has 47 steps leading to the top and has sixty bronze tablets lining its interior walls, naming all 36,325 Illinois soldiers who participated in the Vicksburg Campaign.

So much history! What a fantastic place to visit!  I’m scheming about how I can add this stop to a larger itinerary…hmmm, it’s about 3 1/2 hours from New Orleans and about 7 hours from Nashville.  Oh! I know – I’ve always wanted to do a Mississippi River cruise, maybe one of those would stop by this site!?!

Let me know if you’ve visited this national park and if you have any travel suggestions.

That’s it for this post, because now I’ve gotta go browse river cruise info.  Have a great day! Good luck with your research and be sure to plan a GenTraveling excursion to where your ancestors actually lived (or died)!

 

GenTraveling – Should we travel to unpleasant locations?

andersonville

Hello GenTravelers!

If you’ve traced family members back to the nineteenth century, odds are you have some ancestors who fought in the Civil War. I hope you are planning a trip to where they actually lived.  But what about where they actually died?  Many family historians have ancestors that died in places like Andersonville Prison in Georgia.  Do you have any desire to visit there? Nearly 13,000 prisoners died there. Were any of them your ancestors?

Conditions in the Andersonville Prison were atrocious. Understandably, prisoner Robert H. Kellogg wrote, “Can this be hell?” because scenes like this were common:

andersonville2

There are many such historic sites that conjure up unpleasant feelings. Do we visit these locations in order to firmly remind ourselves of the horrors that occurred there, and to do all we can to never allow those horrors to be repeated?  I hope so.  Just be sure to plan some other wonderful (and uplifting) locations on the itinerary for that GenTraveling trip as well!

Where have you GenTraveled to, that you would consider ‘unpleasant’?

Good luck for successfully researching your ancestors – and be sure to let me know where you are planning your next GenTraveling adventure!