The Vicksburg Campaign
MISSOURI’S VICKSBURG MONUMENT REPAIRS FINISHED!
Thanks to federal grant money, repair work has now finished on the magnificent Missouri monument at Vicksburg National Military Park. Our thanks to Kip Lindberg, who visited the park earlier this month and took this photo.
There are only 2 monuments dedicated to both sides on US battlefields. This is one, the other is at Shiloh. The height is symbolic of the forty-two Missouri units, 27 Union, 15 Confederate. It stands where two opposing Missouri regiments clashed in battle.
The monument features a bronze figure which represents "The Spirit of the Republic," as well as bronze reliefs depicting both Union and Confederate soldiers. The sculptor was Victor S. Holm. The memorial was erected at a cost of $40,000 and dedicated on October 17, 1917.
The Department of Missouri Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War attempted and succeeded in getting state funds for this project. We were originally told that it was low on the priority list by National Parks for repair despite the estimated $375,000 it would take to successfully and completely repair it. The Missouri legislature passed the appropriations for the funds and assigned them to Missouri State Parks. Unfortunately, parks took the position that they could not expend money outside the state. Short of a legal battle there wasn’t much we could do.
During our attempts to get the funding, controversies over Confederate monuments flared up, which led to a few newspaper stories that the state of Missouri was getting ready to expend funds on yet another Confederate monument. This untrue news article did not help our efforts and it was particularly maddening as we couldn’t get Missouri Sons of Confederate Veterans support for this project! Finally, as we were getting ready for another round of legislative letters, the National Park Service was given funds to repair the monument. The Vicksburg, MS, newspaper stated that our efforts brought the repairs to the forefront, and helped get Congress to fund repairs. At the March meeting of the department, we learned the monument should be finished by this Memorial Day. After some discussion, the department is shooting for a 2017 date to rededicate the monument just before the 100th Anniversary of its original dedication.
Although this monument is near completion, there are other Missouri Union troop markers at Vicksburg in need of repairs. 3 unit markers for the 1st Missouri Light Artillery behind the Walmart have been vandalized and need repairs [I’m trying to get costs for these, but they weren’t available at print time]. We are going to attempt to get our legislature to get at least some funds to help in the effort to preserve them. Since these are separate from Confederate troops, there should be less controversy.
The above article and photo are in part from Kip Lindberg, Phelps Camp and the Phelps Camp newsletter with some additions. Photo Right by DC Aubuchon.
2017 Rededication Challenge Coins