was charged with "neutralizing" Vicksburg. Grant ended up marching the Union army down the West bank of the river well downstream of Vicksburg. His plan was then to cross the river and attack Vicksburg from the south. But they had to get Northern ships past Vicksburg, and the Confederate canons, to ferry the army across the river. As I traveled down the river I could imagine the great struggle that occurred here. The Northern ships made it and ferried the army across. But Vicksburg still wouldn't give in, even with direct attack. Then ensued a 47 day "siege" where the Southerners were literally starved out. The next stop was NATCHEZ, Mississippi, epitomizing the grandeur and romance of the historic deep South. It was the residential capital for the richest planters of the cotton kingdom. During the war, it was decided to make a stance up river at Vicksburg, thus leaving Natchez relatively unscathed...a very large number of antebellum homes are still intact. One of them, The Briars, overlooks the river and is one of the finest examples of early Southern plantation-style architecture. Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, was married there. Another place of interest is a small tavern and hotel. Mark Twain stayed there, I was told, during his "river adventures." While I thought I was being adventurous in a 20' pontoon boat, I met Mr Sam Russell, from Houston, who was traversing the river in a "canoe".