View single post by TimK
 Posted: Fri Apr 8th, 2011 04:25 pm
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Joined: Thu Apr 10th, 2008
Location: Aurora, Colorado
Posts: 311

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I spent last week in Vicksburg and would like to share some thoughts.

First, I think we can agree that Vicksburg was a very important part of our history. Many people think it to be more critical and important to a Union victory than even Gettysburg. That is opinion and can be discussed someplace else. My issue, and not to take anything away from the battlefield and the people that work there, is the trees.

Maybe the problem is with the name. Vicksburg was a battle - a very important and ferocious battle and siege. To include the name "Park" in the title, I believe gives people a wrong impression. It seemed most people that were there while I was there were there for recreation, not to study a battle. If I could, I would change the name to "Vicksburg National Battlefield". I can dream.

Concerning the trees - the trees were not there in 1863. The trees were not there in 1899 when the veterans came back to place their monuments and markers to help commemorate this hallowed ground. The trees were planted there, I believe in the 1930's by the CCC (I may not have this totally correct). With the semi-modern trees there, it is very, very, difficult to understand the battle and the assaults that took place on May 19 and May 22, as well as the siege. It is now, for environmental reasons, nearly impossible to remove the trees to have the battlefield look as it did in 1863.

Personally, I love trees. I consider it a crime to take down a tree for frivolous reasons. But this is different. This is a battlefield - not a park. The trees - at least the trees inside the tour road - should be removed. The topography is awesome and presently (except in three or four places), cannot be seen or felt. Speaking my concerns with both the superintendent and the chief historian, I was told that although sympathetic, removing the trees will not happen. I was told that 90 acres of the trees will be removed because of others that have the same concerns as me. Ninety acres out of over 1800 - not enough in my opinion.

Having said all this, I would not stop it from visiting again, and I would certainly recommend that Vicksburg be included on a history buffs itinerary. Vicksburg is a gem - although one needs to look past the trees to see it.

I have more, but I've rambled enough. Anybody else have an opinion? I would love to hear about other people's experiences at this magnificent "battlefield".

Thanks Joe, for the forum to let me vent.

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