Civil War generals will come to life in roundtable event

Published 6:21 pm Friday, June 29, 2018

The history of Vicksburg will be coming alive during multiple events Tuesday and Wednesday.

The Vicksburg Civil War Roundtable will be celebrating the 155th anniversary of the Siege of Vicksburg with multiple events across the two days with appearances by 17 living historians portraying Civil War generals from both sides of the campaign.

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“We will have speakers ranging from the living historian of Jefferson Davis all the way up the living historian of Ulysses S. Grant,” said Corey Rickrode, President of the Vicksburg Civil War Roundtable. “We have a number of Confederate generals and Union generals who will be speaking. All of them were from the Western Theater, which is very important to the Civil War here in Vicksburg.”

The first event will be a Civil War Symposium Tuesday at 7 p.m. at the Old Courthouse Museum. The event costs $15 and will feature the living historians talking about their characters’ role in the war and life during the siege.

“Jefferson Davis is going to talk about the importance of securing and holding the city of Vicksburg,” Rickrode said. “Gen. (John C.) Pemberton will be talking about what he was doing. It is going to be an all-inclusive discussion of the Siege of Vicksburg.”

The generals will be present again Wednesday morning for the second annual Breakfast with the Generals at the Baer House Inn on Grove Street. The event will go from 8:30-10 a.m. and includes breakfast and the chance to talk with the living historians about the Civil War.

After breakfast, the living historians will go to the Old Court House Museum for a reenactment of the surrender between Pemberton and Grant starting at 11 a.m.

“They are nationally acclaimed re-enactors. Gen. Grant is the only Gen. Grant that is allowed on any of the riverboats on the Mississippi River,” Rickrode said. “I know we have a number of outside visitors coming from out of state to come to this event and actually coming from out of the country as well.”

The breakfast costs $15 and tickets to that event and the symposium can be purchased at the Baer House or the Old Court House Museum.

Rickrode started the Vicksburg Civil War Roundtable and the Breakfast with the Generals after moving to Vicksburg in order to increase history-based tourism in the area.

“I invested a million dollars in the city of Vicksburg thinking it actually promoted its history and I was very disappointed after doing that to find out they do zero to do it,” he said. “We started the Vicksburg Historical Advisory Council because there is significant history in this town. It is time we start promoting it and promoting tourism, which is the background of our town.”

Along with the symposium and the breakfast, the living historians who have written books about their characters will host a book signing at Lorelei Books at 1 p.m. Wednesday and there will be a Gallivanting with the Generals event at the McRaven House from 2-4 p.m. where Jefferson Davis will be teaching period dance lessons.