- Associated Press - Sunday, May 7, 2017

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A monument to Missouri’s Civil War troops is being rededicated this month at the Vicksburg National Military Park after undergoing $380,000 repair job to fix broken bronze work and cracks in the granite.

The May 27 rededication comes just months before the 100th anniversary of the monument’s October 1917 unveiling at the Mississippi military park, which commemorates the 47-day Siege of Vicksburg in 1863. The fighting was a decisive victory for Union Maj. Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, The Columbia Daily Tribune (https://bit.ly/2pd1tV5 ) reports.

As one of four states that allowed slavery but didn’t secede from the Union, Missouri was deeply divided. Its Civil War monument was dedicated to men from both sides of the fighting, making it a major attraction during its unveiling at an event known as the “Peace Jubilee.” A crowd of more than 50,000 Civil War veterans attended to celebrate sectional reconciliation as the nation was mobilizing troops for World War I.

Scott Babinowich, spokesman for the military park, doesn’t expect a crowd that large this time, but Memorial Day is traditionally a major day at the park.

The monument features two large bronze reliefs portraying Confederate and Union soldiers, locked in battle. The panels flank a bronze angel by sculptor Victor Holm titled “The Spirit of the Republic.”

“You can really see what the Civil War was about for Missourians, with men who were friends prior to the war … actually there on that ground killing each other,” said Larry Dietzel, of Columbia, who will be part of a Sons of Union Veterans contingent on hand for the ceremony.

The event also will include an artillery salute by the Mississippi National Guard - a similar salute from contemporary artillery occurred in 1917 - and retired Brigadier Gen. Parker Hills, author of a book on Vicksburg monuments, will give the keynote address.

“This year we are trying to do a little more, on the theme of peace through reunion,” Babinowich said.

Missouri lawmakers tried twice to appropriate money for the repairs but it was never spent. The first time, in 2015, the money came from a parks fund that could not be used outside the state. A second appropriation, made last year, became unnecessary by the time it became effective because the park obtained federal funds for the repairs.


Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, https://www.columbiatribune.com

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Manage Newsletters

Copyright © 2021 The Washington Times, LLC.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide