National Military Park
Day 42: Sunday, September 23, 2001
Nothing Lasts Forever.
In 1902 Louisiana became the first Southern state to select a site for its monument at Vicksburg. Designed by Albert Wieblen, the monument was dedicated on October 18, 1920. Situated atop Great Redoubt, the largest, most formidable fort in the Confederate defense line, the monument is a tribute to the forty-one commands of infantry, cavalry, and artillery from Louisiana that served in the defense of Vicksburg.
At 397 feet above sea level, the Great Redoubt is the highest point in the park. The Louisiana Monument towered over the fort in the form of an eighty-one foot high Doric column topped by a flaming brazier constructed entirely of granite. Struck by lightening over Memorial Day weekend 1999, the monument was badly damaged. The column, knocked from its center of gravity, began to shift and posed a serious sefety concern to motorists and pedestrians on the tour road.
To eliminate this sefety hazard and protect the monument from further damage, the decision was made to dismantle the structure. Masons, assisted by heavy equipment, carefully dismantled the column and each piece was marked for identification to enable an exact reconstruction. The National Park service is currently developing plans for the repair of the monument and hope to soon restore it to its original splendor.