Mr. Myrt's ancestor served in the 31st Iowa Infantry and participated in the siege of Vicksburg, Mississippi, according to his Union Civil War pension file and unit history. On 22 May 1863, Thayer and Wood's approach to overcome the Confederate fortifications at the stockade redan is something we've previously only studied in books and maps.
They say a picture is worth more than a thousand words -- well, here's my offering.
|(c) 2010 Pat Richley. All Rights Reserved.|
The tiny circle in the picture above is Mr. Myrt standing where we approximate his ancestor may have stood. We had walked down from the northern approach, and worked our way among the various deep trenches barely visible in the foreground. As we looked up the steep hill of the fortification, the impact of the battle only began to dawn on me. There would be no dodging bullets or cannon-shot shrapnel while carrying a rifle with bayonet for us. I was overwhelmed by the impossibility of a successful summit on a nice, sunny day like today.
The best I could do was retrace our steps to take this pic and attempt to put the Union sacrifice in perspective as Gordon thought of his ancestor's service that day.
FOR FURTHER READING
National Park Service - Vicksburg National Military Park
National Park Service - Battle Summary - Vicksburg
WikiPedia - Siege of Vicksburg