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Posted: 5/8/2021 11:32:16 AM EDT
My wife and I will be traveling from Central Florida to NW Arkansas the first week in June.  We will be attending a Celebration of Life for my lifelong friend that died from Covid last month.

I have made the trip to visit him many times over the years but mostly the eastern route through Alabama.  This time we were thinking about going more west and getting on 55 just for a change in scenery.

We were thinking that it might be interesting to take an extra day and visit Vicksburg.

My first question is it worthwhile to visit the Vicksburg Civil War battlefield? I assume they would have a good museum and the battlefield preserved.

The other question is about traveling north after the visit.  We could double back to 55 but looking at a map I see HWY 61.  It looks to be a four lane.   Is it worth going that route?  Will it be stop light after stop light or miles of open road?  

We would prefer to see things from the local perspective rather than from the Interstate but if it has red light after red light and is a speed trap and would take a few hours longer then maybe not.

What say you bothers from Mississippi?  Thanks.



Link Posted: 5/8/2021 12:51:28 PM EDT
I will say that the Vicksburg Battlefield Park is definitely worth the trip.

Looking at the construction of the recovered river gunboat alone is worth the trip IMO.

The museum at the entrance not so much (but if you're there) cool artifacts and dioramas, but just not that much.  To appreciate the battlefield as a whole you need to it you really need to read up on the battle and then drive around the loop.
Link Posted: 5/8/2021 3:49:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/8/2021 3:50:38 PM EDT by atomicbrh]
Choice 1:
This is my advice if you want to travel on the Blues Highway also known as Highway 61 as fast as possible to Arkansas if you decide not to go to Vicksburg.
If you travel north on Highway 49 through Mississippi from Florida via Alabama, use the bathroom and fill your tank in Richland, MS.
If you travel west on Interstate 20 through Mississippi from Florida via Alabama, use the bathroom and fill your tank in Brandon, MS.
Those are the last two safe stops before you start your journey through what is mostly dangerous territory.
After your stop, make sure your doors are locked and you have a handgun within easy reach for about the next three hours of driving.
Do not do this at night, the bugs are just too bad in the Mississippi Delta.
Here we go:
Take Interstate 20 West through Jackson.
Take the Interstate 220 North Exit.
A few miles North on 220, take the Highway 49 North Exit to Yazoo City.
Travel on Highway 49 North for around 20 miles or so and go right through the middle of downtown Yazoo City.
The flat, level road at the foot of the bridge just north of the outskirts of downtown Yazoo City is where the Delta begins.
Travel to Louise, Mississippi on Highway 49W.
Turn Left on Highway 14 just North of Louise. You will be travelling directly West.
When Highway 14 arrives at a dead end stop sign at Anguilla, Mississippi Turn Right.
You are now on the Highway 61.
Turn Left at either Hollandale, MS. or Arcola, MS. and travel directly West.
You will arrive at a dead end stop sign on Highway 1 with either of those choices.
Turn Right and travel north on Highway 1 until you arrive at what I describe as a frontage road, turn left
and you will travel over the new bridge over the Mississippi River.
This route bypasses Leland and Greeneville and is the most direct route to get into Arkansas.
When you arrive in Lake Village, Arkansas, there is a Welcome Center on the right where there are clean rest rooms.
The welcome center is run by the Lake Village Chamber of Commerce.  There are safe places to gas up also.

Choice 2:
If you want to go straight to Vicksburg, just go West on Interstate 20, do not stop in Pearl, MS. or Jackson, MS. unless you know the area well.
When you leave Vicksburg, travel North on Highway 61.  I would just backtrack East on Interstate 20 to Exit 5.  It is not that far to backtrack.
Then once you arrive at Hollandale or Arcola, follow what I typed above.

The same goes for you guys as the guy in the other thread.
If you want a local(and possible a friend who was once a certified Vicksburg battle guide) to meet you at the park and go through the park with you, just message me.
Here is the link to the thread with suggestions about VMP.  VMP is huge and you can miss the major parts of the park if you are not familiar with it.

https://www.ar15.com/forums/Hometown/Planning-a-cross-country-road-trip-through-your-state-Need-some-recommendations-and-advice/57-652929/

Here is my reply:
The Vicksburg Military Park is huge. Getting in and out of your car and walking to look at the first dozen monuments can take a full day.
If you have never been there before,  do not stop at any of the first monuments. Stop by the visitor's center and get a map.
Drive directly to the Illinois Monument.  It is the one with all the stairs and the dome roof  Go inside it.  It is a work of art.
Second, drive to the Cairo Museum to see the gunboat Cairo and the attached museum with all the artifacts that came up when the Cairo was raised.
Third, And I cannot remember whether it is before or after the Cairo, go up on Fort Hill to see the magnificent views of the Mississippi River and approaches.
Then drive back all the way through the park again and see the less important things that would have wasted all your time.
Sometime around the late 1960's, Yankees reversed the traffic flow through the park, so that visitors would waste all their time going through the Federal sides lines and run out of time before they got to view the Confederate lines and monuments.  In the old days, you exited through the memorial arch that you now enter the park through.  Most people never see the Confederate lines.
Sadly, the last generation of real historians that worked at the park have retired and the present employees do not seem to know anything about the history of the park.
Edwin Bearss spent the first years of his career there as a guide for VMP and was instrumental in raising the Cairo.
Pack a lunch and eat in the park.  You will not have time to go out to eat in town.
I have not visited the park in quite a few years.  I live about an hour away.
Message me if you want a local to tour with you or if you have any questions.
A friend of ours was a certified guide for the park and can do the tour in three different languages.
The trouble with his tours is he wants to take three days and start at Port Gibson where the campaign really started.
He might tag along too if you wish to have your brain loaded with more history than most people can stand.
There are some cool bed and breakfasts in town that survived the war but are rather pricey.
There is one that still has the cannon ball hole through the main hallway.

Link Posted: 5/8/2021 3:52:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/8/2021 9:53:34 PM EDT by atomicbrh]
In reference to my previous reply, it may amaze you but in the old days, people have driven in excess of 135 miles per hour on parts of 14, 61, 49 and 1 making deliveries.
Today most people go somewhat faster than the posted speed limits because the areas are so rural but I would not go extremely fast.
Do not be surprised if a farmer passes you like you are sitting still.

I have never been bothered by stop and go situations taking the two routes I suggested.
The towns that I suggested going through are extremely small.
Very little LEO presence and never observed a speed trap on 49W, 14 and 61.
(Edit:  My way of travelling to Arkansas may seem too contrived and complicated but I did it for so many years that every detail is worked out for minimal trip time. Example: It is actually quicker to go through downtown Yazoo City than to go around it.  If the train is blocking traffic in Yazoo city, we never stop for the train but go a block over to the west where there is a overpass that a lot of people do not know about. My way is much faster than Interstate 55.)
Link Posted: 5/9/2021 9:35:24 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By atomicbrh:
In reference to my previous reply, it may amaze you but in the old days, people have driven in excess of 135 miles per hour on parts of 14, 61, 49 and 1 making deliveries.
Today most people go somewhat faster than the posted speed limits because the areas are so rural but I would not go extremely fast.
Do not be surprised if a farmer passes you like you are sitting still.

I have never been bothered by stop and go situations taking the two routes I suggested.
The towns that I suggested going through are extremely small.
Very little LEO presence and never observed a speed trap on 49W, 14 and 61.
(Edit:  My way of travelling to Arkansas may seem too contrived and complicated but I did it for so many years that every detail is worked out for minimal trip time. Example: It is actually quicker to go through downtown Yazoo City than to go around it.  If the train is blocking traffic in Yazoo city, we never stop for the train but go a block over to the west where there is a overpass that a lot of people do not know about. My way is much faster than Interstate 55.)
View Quote


Is that trip mostly flat Mississippi Delta country?  If so that would be a pretty boring trip.
Link Posted: 5/9/2021 6:09:08 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By PCB66:


Is that trip mostly flat Mississippi Delta country?  If so that would be a pretty boring trip.
View Quote


Yes, flat.  The view is row crops with the monotony interrupted occasionally by crop dusters.
I do not think there are any interesting places to see in that part of the Delta.
The non-boring factor was always when you were going fast, rounded a curve and had to jump on the brakes or maneuver to keep from hitting a
farmer in the road on a combine.  We lived in Leland many years ago and the Delta is more interesting to drive for us than the Interstate especially if
you like looking at row crops.
I like driving North on the Mississippi side of the river better than the Louisiana side.
Probably less chance for tickets on the Mississippi side also.
It is hard to describe to Americans in other parts of the country what the AR, MS, LA Delta is really like.
Link Posted: 5/9/2021 7:32:49 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By atomicbrh:


Yes, flat.  The view is row crops with the monotony interrupted occasionally by crop dusters.
I do not think there are any interesting places to see in that part of the Delta.
The non-boring factor was always when you were going fast, rounded a curve and had to jump on the brakes or maneuver to keep from hitting a
farmer in the road on a combine.  We lived in Leland many years ago and the Delta is more interesting to drive for us than the Interstate especially if
you like looking at row crops.
I like driving North on the Mississippi side of the river better than the Louisiana side.
Probably less chance for tickets on the Mississippi side also.
It is hard to describe to Americans in other parts of the country what the AR, MS, LA Delta is really like.
View Quote


I have been to Blytheville Arkansas so I know what you are talking about.

Either we will stick with the Alabama route or just go I-55.  We can hits Vicksburg some other time.

Thanks for the input.  You have been very helpful.
Link Posted: 5/13/2021 8:56:58 PM EDT
Vicksburger here.

The battlefield does not excite me---though I am a dyed-in-the-wool rebel.  I guess it's OK the first time---gives a good perspective of how the battle/siege was fought. But they seem to have turned all of the Confederate markers (signs) away from the road so drivers can't read them. There are tons of big monuments for the north and south. The park's visitor center is OK.

You might want to visit the Old Courthouse Museum in downtown Vicksburg: https://oldcourthouse.org/

Restaurants in Vicksburg generally suck. One called Rusty's (also downtown) is good. There is no good barbecue place in Vicksburg.

We also have casinos, but what place doesn't?

US 61 up through the delta is boring.

US 65 goes up the Louisiana side and is OK.

Beware the closure today of the I-40 bridge across the Mississippi River in Memphis. Avoid it:

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/memphis-cracked-i-40-bridge-creates-headache-traffic-shipping-n1267187
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