April 11th - New Orleans to Vicksburg, Mississippi

Just two nights in New Orleans is simply not enough time to be able to enjoy the city. Still, we have seen the French Quarter and been on the Mississippi River during our short stay. The weather has improved, and as we drove away from the hotel the sun came out. Our drive took us east and then north going through some of the worst hurricane affected areas of the city. For several miles on both side of the road we saw derelict houses with roofs torn off and uprooted trees. It was very depressing, especially to think that more then eighteen months have elapsed since the hurricane struck.

Today's drive is one of the shortest of the tour, just over 200 miles. We crossed from Louisiana into Mississippi and then took some beautiful back roads through the state. Everything is so wonderfully green and, with the lack of other traffic on the roads, we had a marvellous drive. The photo below was typical of the drive.

We were heading for Vicksburg, one of the most important Civil War towns. It was at Vicksburg that the Confederate Army was defeated by the Unionists in 1863. Vicksburg became known as 'Gibraltar, as it controlled the mighty Mississippi River and after the southern states ceded from the Union they effectively stopped all river trade at Vicksburg. General Grant was sent south to take the town and after a siege lasting over 40 days the Confederates surrendered. Vicksburg has a very interesting Military Park which is sited where the battle took place. Some 17,000 graves, 14,000 with no name, are in the park.

Also, there is a very interesting museum dedicated to the armour plated steamboat Cairo, and used by the Unionists in the war. The Confederates sunk it by using a remotely controlled torpedo device. It was raised from the river in 1964.

Our hotel in Vicksburg, The Cedar Grove, is an old mansion house and has been restored to its former glory. It was good to be able to stay in an old house, rather than another modern American hotel.

We had one last drive to do before the end of the day and that was across the Mississippi River into Louisiana and to the small town called Tallulah. One of our granddaughters is called Tallulah and we wanted to take some photos for her! There were many different signs with Tallulah on them, but this one caught our eye.

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