Monday, October 22, 2012

Tupelo National Battlefield, Tupelo MS

Brices Cross Roads
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More old photos from the archives, this time from Tupelo National Battlefield in Tupelo, Mississippi. I was driving through the Deep South in a Ryder truck, headed a few states east of here, and I figured I probably ought to stop and see at least one Civil War site on the way. Understand that I've never been a Civil War buff, or a war buff of any kind. I wasn't really interested in spending days up to my eyes in gory and distasteful 1860s history.

With that in mind, I think I picked the right place. It's small, for one thing, just a single acre of land conveniently located in central Tupelo, Mississippi. It's just a grassy area with a cannon and a couple of memorials: A large commemorating the soldiers from both sides, but with an eagle on top and what looks like a Union shield design. Then there's a smaller, somewhat newer one commemorating "Our Confederate Dead That Gave Their Lives In Battle", supposedly "For Their Rights". As far as I'm concerned, the cannon & memorials pretty much sum up the entire conflict in a nutshell for non-enthusiasts, visitable in maybe 5 or 10 minutes.

Brices Cross Roads

Another nice thing is that, since it just comes across as a normal city park, it's pretty hard to visualize it being the site of 20,000 soldiers trying to kill or maim each other. Nice, I mean, for those of us who aren't keen on visualizing that sort of thing. In a related note, I don't know whether this little acre ever attracts Civil War reenactors, but the size of the place puts an upper bound on how many can show up, so that counts as a plus also.

Brices Cross Roads

My original plan had been to stop here and then go drive on the scenic Natchez Trace Parkway for a bit, but at the parkway visitor center a local cop insisted my Ryder truck was a commercial vehicle and thus wasn't allowed onto the road. I figured arguing my case with a Mississippi policeman might be unwise, especially if there was a chance he might be right. so I hopped back on US 78 and continued on east, and so far I haven't been back.

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