A Most Universally Admired And Esteemed Character: The Life of Thomas E. Lewis of Vicksburg

Mississippians in the Confederate Army

In my youth, I was fortunate enough to work for nine years at the Old Court House Museum in Vicksburg, Mississippi. During those years I met with thousands of tourists from all over the world, and was asked one question more than any other; “Where are the caves?” I knew exactly what caves they were referring to: the caves dug by the inhabitants of Vicksburg during the 1863 siege to protect themselves from the devastating Union bombardment of the city.

I had to reluctantly inform them that almost all of the caves were gone – lost to time, the elements, and to progress in the form of bulldozers and earth moving equipment. The one surviving cave that I knew of was on private property and not open to the general public. Tourists were always disappointed to find out they couldn’t visit an authentic Civil War cave – but I…

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