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Lincoln and Davis.

Abe and Jeff: Presidents and Equals

Field review by the editors.

Vicksburg, Mississippi

Our favorite memorial at Vicksburg National Military Park is one of the last along the tour route: the Kentucky Monument, one of the park's more recent additions (2001). Soldiers from Kentucky fought on both sides at Vicksburg, and the monument shows this divided loyalty by depicting a fictitious historic moment: a meeting between a bronze Abraham Lincoln, President of the United States, and Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States. Both men had been born in Kentucky, but the two never met as Presidents.

Abe looks pissed that he's been downgraded to Jefferson Davis status, while Davis has a miserable, hangdog expression -- or maybe he's just shell-shocked by the news coming out of Vicksburg: another Rebel defeat. The statues should've been sculpted in Kentucky, but instead were created in Gettysburg -- another place with bad memories for Davis.

The two men stand at what had been the front lines between the Union and Confederate forces, in the center of a giant bull's eye inscribed, "Divided We Fall." Unlike the park's other statues, Abe and Jeff stand at ground level. When viewed from the front, they seem to face each other, but it's an illusion. Both glare over their opposite's shoulder into the middle distance.


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Abe and Jeff: Presidents and Equals

Vicksburg National Military Park

Confederate Ave., Vicksburg, MS
In Vicksburg National Military Park, in the open space between Union and Confederate Aves (the south loop of the park road), roughly 200 feet from each, just north of tour stop 15.
Daily 8-5 (Call to verify) Local health policies may affect hours and access.
$20 per vehicle
RA Rates:
Worth a Detour
Save to My Sights

Nearby Offbeat Places

Vicksburg National Military ParkVicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg, MS - < 1 mi.
Fake Ironclad on a HillFake Ironclad on a Hill, Vicksburg, MS - 1 mi.
Grave of the Confederate CamelGrave of the Confederate Camel, Vicksburg, MS - 2 mi.
In the region:
Abandoned World's Largest Mississippi River Model, Jackson, MS - 32 mi.

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