19 June 2006

Picturesque Mississippi

In Grand Gulf (population 45) three boys play baseball. Wild iris are on second, the Mississippi River is on third. Behind them on a wooded knoll are tombstones lost beneath veils of Spanish moss. They, too, speak of the river's ways: ''Sacred to the memory of James G. Bartling who died from wounds received by the explosion of the steamboat Augusta Dec. 7, 1838.'' Source: AN OLD WORLD THE MISSISSIPPI LEFT BEHIND [an article in the New York Times, 25 November 1894] by Barbara Lazear Ascher.

Here’s a picture (taken by J. Palm) of the gravestone referenced in the article:

To read the rest of this article (from the New York Times, no less) that captures the essence of traveling the back roads of Mississippi, do a “Google” search on “Bartling augusta steamboat.”

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