Published: April 19th 2008April 7th 2008
Obfuscator writes: Having decided the night before to set our sights more definitely on home, we abruptly turned away from home, and back to the southwest. Our goal for the day was Jackson, MS. We hadn't spent enough time in Mississippi to satisfy us, and the capitol seemed a likely place to start.
After a fairly lengthy drive, we arrived in Jackson, and made our first stop at the Old Capitol. Normally there's a museum there, and it looked like it could be pretty interesting. When we visited though, the Old Capitol was closed for massive renovations. The Old Capitol was fairly small, with a small dome atop it, but probably would have been worth the stop. Next door, we found a Mississippi War Memorial in an American Legion building. The memorial was nicely done, and the big shiny doors into the Legion building had all sorts of neat engravings on them.
From here, we made our way to the present Capitol. It is a rather pretty building, if indistinct from so many other state capitols, at least on the outside. Inside, it has a very lovely dome and rotunda. The House and the Senate both have large, beautiful
stained glass domes over them, which although not unique, are more spectacular than most we've seen. There are tons of light bulbs all over the place, and we found a guest book in which a visitor from Madison told them they should switch to CFLs to save power. Of course, the CFLs would look stupid in the fixtures, so I'm guessing that Mississippi has considered, and discarded the idea. Outside the capitol, there's the figurehead from the battleship Mississippi, and a nice statue to the Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, and Wives of the Confederacy, which was one of the more tasteful Confederate memorials I've seen. We drove around Jackson for a little while, trying to find the Jackson Battlefield Park, but we couldn't, so we gave up and drove on to Vicksburg.
Our goal in Vicksburg was to see the battlefield. Vicksburg is often overshadowed by Gettysburg, which was happening at the same time, but it was a pivotal battle in the war, since it secured the Mississippi River for the Union. It was a crushing blow for the Confederacy, since they had put a lot of resources into securing Vicksburg. Like Gettysburg, the battlefield is huge (actually, Vicksburg is
bigger). The battlefield drive in the park is 16 miles, and doesn't even cover the whole battlefield.
We stopped in the visitor's center, and watched a short film, and checked out their exhibits, before getting an audio tour and setting off to see the battlefield. About a third of the way in, things took a turn for the worse. Now, if you've been reading our blog from the beginning, there have probably been times where photos you've seen or things we've described have made you think, “Gosh! That Obfuscator or Onaxthiel sure does some foolhardy things!”
Truly, on this occasion, I earned that thought, as I managed to take a fairly serious fall while doing something quite foolish. Plunging head first, I apparently managed to break most of the fall with my left arm, but after some fairly nervous field diagnosis, we went to the emergency room to get X-Rays. A few hours later, everything checked out ok, and we left the hospital, myself a little wiser (perhaps), and a lot sorer, but otherwise no worse for the wear. We headed to the downtown of Vicksburg, where we found a room in the Relax Inn, and dinner in
an Italian restaurant near the waterfront. The Relax Inn gets mixed reviews. The exterior and halls will frighten you, and have definitely seen better days. The room is mostly pretty nice, though it's clear that renovations are still in progress. When we visited, the cable was out, and we couldn't get a strong wireless signal, though to be fair, the desk attendant did warn us that the cable was out due to the severe storms and tornadoes that had passed through the area a few days previously. Luckily for us, the city has a strong, free, wireless connection throughout the downtown, so we had no trouble updating the blog and so forth during the late evening.
There are more photos below