It was in November of 1862, 150 years ago about now, that General U.S. Grant of the Union Army started enacting plans to take Vicksburg, giving the Federal Government control of the whole Mississippi River and splitting the Confederacy in two. But there were several logistical problems in getting TO Vicksburg. First of all there was no direct route through the center of the state that wasn't held by the South with strong armies.
And the Delta was a different place 150 years ago than it is now. Heavily wooded with bottom-land hardwood forests and criss-crossed with bayous and swamps. It would almost be impossible to walk across it if you were by yourself, much less trying to march a whole army across it.
So that left coming down the Mississippi River, past Vicksburg and landing in the unprotected bluffs south of the town and marching back up to it.
Grant first set his sights at Grand Gulf as a landing place. And you could see why the cotton fields around the antebellum home Winter Quarters just south of Newellton in Tensas Parish, Louisiana would be perfect as the last encampment before hopping the Mississippi River, between where we are in Louisiana, and Grand Gulf, marked vividly today by the cooling tower at the Grand Gulf Nuclear Power Station.
Now there were around 15 plantation homes on Lake St. Joseph at that time. After the Union Army left, there was just one still standing, Winter Quarters.
Winter Quarters is owned by the state of Louisiana and is a historic landmark. It is USUALLY open to the public. But a tornado a few years ago did severe damage to the house and it has been closed for a while. But contracts have been let and workers are on the job re-roofing, putting in a new cooling and heating system and doing general clean up-fix up on the old home.
Hopefully, Winter Quarters in Newellton will be open by the actual 150th anniversary of the night the Union Army camped here, in April of 2013.
The Civil War defined who we are as a nation today. And there are fewer and fewer of these witness to it still standing. But here's one that will be around a while longer in Tensas Parish, Louisiana.
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:31 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:31:22 GMT
The pastor and members of a Jefferson county church make the gruesome discovery of a body on the way to Bible study Wednesday evening. Sheriff Peter Walker said a woman's body was found just before 6:30More >>
Jefferson County Sheriff Peter Walker has identified the woman found dead in the cemetery of East Mount Olive Baptist Church Wednesday night.
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:13 PM EDT2013-05-24 01:13:14 GMT
Two elementary school girls were allegedly sexually assaulted by another female student. One incident happening while the two girls were at school. Two mothers are now speaking out about their daughters.More >>
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Thursday, May 23 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:05:30 GMT
A Jackson Public School district principal has had her license suspended for one year. Dr. Lisa Andrus-Johnson is the principal at Watkins Elementary school.A spokesperson for the Mississippi DepartmentMore >>
A Jackson Public School district principal has had her license suspended for one year. Dr. Lisa Andrus-Johnson is the principal at Watkins Elementary school.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 2:07 PM EDT2013-05-23 18:07:42 GMT
Joseph Patrick Coates has pled guilty to three counts of sale of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 52 years in prison. The last eight years of the sentenced were suspended and he'll be placedMore >>
Joseph Patrick Coates has pleaded guilty to three counts of sale of a controlled substance and was sentenced to 52 years in prison. The last eight years of the sentence were suspended and he'll be placed on supervised probation following his release.More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 5:38 PM EDT2013-05-23 21:38:18 GMT
The picture of a George County dog set on fire is disturbing. Authorities say the circumstances surrounding how fire consumed the dog are shocking. According to George County Sheriff Dean Howell, 20-year-oldMore >>
Socks, the dog reportedly burned this week by his owner, has died. That word comes from a George County Sheriff's deputy. Socks succumbed to injuries suffered after 20-year-old Brandon Pierce allegedly set his dog on fire Tuesday night. The suspect told deputies he torched the dog because he "wanted to help the dog go to heaven."More >>
Thursday, May 23 2013 9:28 AM EDT2013-05-23 13:28:21 GMT
Three on Your Side receives a complaint of tainted gas in Clinton Wednesday. Toby Latham said water in gasoline from Kangaroo Express on Springridge Road damaged his vehicle. According to the Byram motorist,More >>
One customer at a gas station in Clinton claims water in the fuel damaged his vehicle.
Thursday, May 23 2013 7:17 PM EDT2013-05-23 23:17:05 GMT
James Hutto interrupted his own capital murder trial Tuesday morning, angry that judge Bill Gowan decided against the admissibility of certain evidence. "None of that matters? F***. I don't give a f***More >>
Eighty-one year old Ethel Winstead Simpson was killed between 11:30 p.m. on September 13 and 1:15 a.m. on September 14, 2010. Prosecutors narrowed down the time frame Wednesday in the Capital Murder trial of James Hutto.More >>
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