I had never been one to believe in ghosts or supernatural occurrences until I visited the Vicksburg Battlefield about four years ago. I have been a civil war buff for nearly 35 years and have visited over 30 battlefields from Western Arkansas to Gettysburg. I have had some eerie feelings during a few visits, but nothing compares with my last Vicksburg visit.
This was my fifth visit to this Battlefield which I have previously visited with my wife, daughter, and other family members. My last visit was by myself as I like to spend time tracing the actual events of the battle including walking the trails. This day I saw something that I had never seen before or since. I was walking in the area where Union troops had unsuccessfully charged a Confederate stronghold several times without success. Union troops were mowed down in groves, and this area was where the largest amounts of lives were lost during the Vicksburg campaign. While walking up to the area where the Confederate troops repulsed the Union advances, a fog approximately measuring 30 yards long by 10 yards wide appeared from the woods to the east following the exact route of the Union charge and disappearing at the area where the Confederate troops stopped the attacks, disappearing into thin air. It was a cloudy winter day, but I did not experience any fog on any other parts of the battlefield that day. This area is also one of the furthest areas away from the river. What was strange about the fog was that it was traveling against the wind which was coming from the west. Of course, I was the only person at the site as this occurred so I was the only person to witness this event. I didn't bring this up to anyone for years as I knew the majority of people would think I was mistaken about what I experienced that day or would simple think I was crazy or had made this up. I think my wife and family still believe that I didn't see what I described to them what happened to me during my visit to the battlefield.
I did talk to a friend of mine who traveled to Vicksburg occasionally to work at the casinos. He had a regular routine when he was in Vicksburg, of going to the battlefield to run during the twilight hours as he said it was quiet, and he could run without worrying about traffic. He told me of an experience he had one late afternoon, about an hour before sundown. He was running near the National Cemetery portion of the battlefield, as he had done several times in the past, when a fog appeared in the cemetery over the graves. The fog was only about a foot high from the ground, and came up about halfway up the gravestones. He told me what was really eerie was the fog covered only the graves, and no other parts of the cemetery or the fields next to the cemetery. Needless to say, he was extremely shaken by the event, and had not shared it with anyone else until I told him about the experience I had.
I have visited Chickamauga, Murfreesboro, and Shiloh battlefields at least twice each, since I had this experience at Vicksburg, but I have not had any experiences at any of these battlefields like I did at Vicksburg. I do have to say that the Murfreesboro battlefield does give me the creeps when I have visited it. I have not been able to bring myself to go back to Vicksburg as of yet, but I remember that experience as if it happened yesterday.
Submitted by: Jim Wilson, A Civil War Buff
To view photographs of Haunted Mississippi please visit my site at http://www.hauntedtraveler.com