State of Mississippi Monument, 1973
Gettysburg National Military Park, Pennsylvania
My sister and her family are in Gettysburg for a few days visiting my brother and his family, so this morning I drove up for a little family reunion. On the way to Boyds Bear Country -- sort of a cross between Build-A-Bear Workshop and a Cracker Barrel gift shop -- we drove through the Gettysburg National Military Park and passed my most favorite Civil War monument, erected by the State of Mississippi in honor of the residents of that state who fought in the War Between the States. It's said to represent two soldiers of Barksdale's Mississippi Brigade, one of whom, the flag-bearer, lies mortally wounded while the other defends the flag using his musket as a club. But the first time I saw it, I immediately interpreted it as a Mississippian beating a Union soldier to death with his rifle, and I can't help but see it that way now even though I know "the rest of the story."