Walt's Look Around: The Museum of the Mississippi Delta - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Walt's Look Around: The Museum of the Mississippi Delta

Posted: Updated:
GREENWOOD, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

It was just about this bleak and easily this wet this time of the year 150 years ago at this spot, "This spot" being on the banks of the Tallahatchie River at Greenwood.

In February of 1863, 150 years ago about now, Union General Grant broke the levee at Moon Lake on up in the Delta in order to put plenty of water into the Cold Water River, which hooks to the Tallahatchie, which, in turn, joins the Yalobusha River to form the Yazoo, which runs near enough to Vicksburg that Grant figured that if he could get troop transports down through these Delta Rivers, he could slip up on Vicksburg's back door and capture it.  

That is the story being told at The Museum of the Mississippi Delta in Greenwood right now in their exhibit that just opened and runs through August entitled, "War Comes to the Mississippi Delta."

Cheryl Taylor, the Executive Director of the museum says this exhibit is a joint venture.

"To us really as a small museum in a small town, we wanted to do something that we thought would be commemorative of the Civil War," said Taylor. "Of course, because it being the sesquicentennial, and we wanted to involve a lot of entities within the State of Mississippi including the Museum, The Mississippi Department or Archives and History and the Vicksburg National Military Park, both of whom leant us many of their very, very prized Civil War artifacts that we have on display here."  

One of the most interesting pieces in the exhibit is a part of the permanent collection at the Museum of the Mississippi Delta, this rare Blakely rifled cannon. They've named it the "Lady Polk."

When I was growing up in the Delta, every time we would pass through Greenwood I would see it on the side of Highway 82 at the site of Fort Pemberton.

For decades it sat out there in the elements. Then, the museum acquired it and restored it.

One day Greenwood historian Henry McCabe was telling me when he was a youngster they used to climb all over it and throw firecrackers down the barrel. It was only during the restoration process that it was discovered that the Lady Polk has been loaded all those years.  

The river war in the Delta did not succeed, by the way. But that didn't deter General Grant. He finally took Vicksburg July 4th.

And over the next few months we'll do more reports from other places where the Union Army marched and camped 150 years ago this year.

Copyright 2013 MSNewsNow. All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow