We’re in Tupelo, MS to check out two more Civil War National Park sites. If you’re read the last two posts on our road trip, you may realize that I’m very interested in National Parks. My knowledge of the Civil War is mostly based on visiting national park units, like battlefields and monuments.
We checked two tiny national battlefield sites:and . Each park is only one acre. It’s not difficult to say that we checked the whole park. Because the parks are so small, the official visitor center is on the , a scenic road that goes from Nashville to Natchez. Unlike the Blue Ridge Parkway, the road has no overlooks.
Bryces Crossroads commemorates a Confederate victory on June 10, 1864, outside the town of Baldwyn, about 15 miles north of Tupelo. The one-acre park is part of a larger piece of land protected by the. This may have been the last Confederate victory or the last battle in Mississippi; the woman at the Interpretive Center couldn’t really tell me.
Tupelo Battlefield site is on Main St. in downtown Tupelo, squeezed in between car washes and fast-food place. It only has a pull-off for one or two cars to park. Both sites were preserved in 1929, probably as Civil War veterans were dying off. For the first time, I wondered if the site was worthy of being part of the National Park Service.
Sure, it doesn’t have its own superintendent. One pamphlet covers both parks. But someone still has to cut the grass and raise and lower the American flag every day.
You can’t go to Tupelo without being confronted by Elvis Presley in various forms. He was born in Tupelo and businesses are quick to use his memory. Colorful guitars have been placed on downtown street corners. Here Lenny plays one.
This is the last Civil War park on this trip.
We’re leaving the Southeast region, as defined by the National Park Service. Tomorrow into Arkansas.