THE VICKSBURG CAMPAIGN
(FINAL DESIGN FOR MONUMENT)
24" X 24" X 24"
After it was over, many men were
found dead with bayonet stabs. And others with their skulls
broken open by butts of muskets
... the bravery of the blacks at Millikens Bend completely
revolutionized the sentiment of the army with regard to the
employment of Negro troops.
--anonymous Union officer
How would this monument portray a look
to the past while communicating the hope of the future? And
what of the racial tensions of the day? I was aware the Vicksburg
National Military Park was filled with classical figurative
memorials and thus determined I should be thinking in terms
of human figures, real men with real blood and guts and the
beauty and mystery of the human body formed with a sensitivity
to the fragile nature of our survival day to day. In a flash
of light, our lives here can be extinguished. I had dealt
with that certainty through the living memory that my own
father had died instantly in a Volkswagen bug. Certainly among
the rolling hills and marshes along the Mississippi River
in 1863, that reality would be tangible to these men, inhaled
with each muggy humid breath.