In 1908, Louisiana became the first Southern state to select a site for its
monument at Vicksburg. Designed by Albert Wieblen, the monument was dedicated
October 18, 1920. Situated atop Great Redoubt, the largest, most formidable
fort in the Confederate defense line, the monument is a tribute to the
forty-one commands of infantry, cavalry, and artillery from Louisiana that
served in the defense of Vicksburg.
At 397 feet above sea level, the Great Redoubt is the hightest point in the
Vicksburg National Military Park. The Louisiana Monument towered over the fort
in the form of an eighty-one foot high Doric column topped by a flaming brazier
constructed entirely of granite. Struck by lightning over Memorial Day weekend
1999, the monument was badly damaged. The column, knocked from its center of
gravity, began to shift and posed a serious safety concern to motorists and
pedestrians on the tour road.
To eliminate this safety hazard and protect the monument from further damage,
the decision was made to dismantle the structure. Masons, assisted by heavy
equipment, carefully dismantled the column and each piece was marked for
identification to enable an exact reconstruction. The National Park Service is
currently developing plans for the repair of the monument and hope to soon
restore it to its original splendor.