There are many more interesting things to see in the Park, and today we’ll just take a romp through the highlights. You can see all the state monuments and read brief descriptions about them on the NPS website.
The Shirley House is the only house still on the battlefield that survived the Siege. Built in the 1830s, it's just come through a major repair and renovation job and looks great.
The Illinois Monument is of course the crown jewel of the Park. Dedicated in 1906, it was designed by Chicago architect and Vicksburg veteran William Jenney, with Jenney's partner W.B. Mundie acting as supervising architect and Vicksburg architect W.A. Stanton as local architect.
Inside the Illinois Monument
Looking up in the Illinois Monument
Part of the "restoration project" has involved cutting down the trees in front of the Illinois monument. This does give a good long view of the monument, although that wasn't the primary intent.
Dedicated in 1911, this monument was designed by W. Liance Cotrell, sculpted by Julius C. Loestler, and cast by Roman Bronze Works.
Not the most imaginative monument, the Tennessee memorial was dedicated in 1996.
The Missouri Monument was one of my favorites, after Illinois. Dedicated in 1917, it was designed by Victor Sophus Joachim Holm and cast by American Art Bronze Foundry.
The Arkansas Monument, dedicated in 1954, is distinct in its Art Modern sophistication. The sword/cross is one of the few overt Christian symbols in the Park.
I wonder if NPS would reject an overtly Christian symbol in the world of today?
Thanks for this series. It was really beautiful to look at and informative. We are planning a family outing to Vicksburg now that the spring is upon us–not that winter ever arrived. These posts will be extremely helpful in preparing the kiddos for what they will see and learn.
Wow. Had not seen the clearing in front of the Illinois monument. I have mixed feelings about it, but it does offer a different view.
I wanted to wait until the whole series was done before commenting. This is a wonderfully penetrating, respectful and yet wry piece of on-line writing about a deeply evocative and therefore sensitive place and subject. To touch even in passing on any one strand is to risk disarranging it, but I believe the remarks about the lack of Judeo-Christian elements and the emphasis upon Greco-Roman classical mythology point in so many ways to the difficulty of the survivors of the Civil War in understanding what had happened and what they had done. Sometimes it is what is omitted that becomes significant, along with the rear of a statue and the lightening-scarred face of an monument. And sometimes it is left to later generations to make sense of events, as has been done with the African-American memorial, by supplying those omissions. This series will help future generations make sense of not only the Cemetery, and that generation, but our own.
Now to turn to something very particular and detailed and of no real significance at all. Mention was made of whether one turned to the right or left after entering the Cemetery. I am wondering whether old layouts might show water places for horses and that might demonstrate whether originally one did go left or right. Of course, within a relatively short time automobile traffic patterns controlled, but I suspect the horse-era layout will make some things clear. (Another point: many times people wanted to visit, doubtlessly, in the morning, and they may have wanted to keep the horses’ eyes from looking directly into the sun.)
Thanks to Malvaney. Prayers for all those buried here and those that loved them, along with reflections and thoughts about ourselves and our times.