National Park ServiceU.S. Department of the InteriorVicksburg National Military Park
The Five Faces
Perhaps the most popular tale of strange occurrences in theVicksburg National Military Parkis the
"Bleeding Faces of thePennsylvania Memorial."
Dedicated in 1906, five bronzemedallions on the main shaft of the memorial portray eachPennsylvanian unit's commander(from left to right): Colonel JohnI. Curtin, Lieutenant ColonelThomas S. Brenholtz, Colonel John F. Hartranft, Colonel DanielLeasure, and Captain George W.Durrell. Legend has it that if you drive to the monument atmidnight and shine lights on thefive faces, they will cry blood.There is a logical reason for thismyth, however. When it rains,water collects behind the bronzemedallions. Rust and mineralsstain the water red, so it appearsthat the faces are crying blood.
Well - that's what the unbelieverssay!
atop the Wisconsin Memorial.Legend has it that Old Abe "flewthe coop" in 1941 when onemorning the statue was foundlying on the ground beside thememorial. According to localresidents, no one attendedchurch in Vicksburg the nextday - instead, they gathered atthe park to pet the eagle's head!Everyone assumed lightningstruck the monument andcaused Old Abe's descent;however, no one actuallywitnessed the incident. Tomake sure Old Abe stays atopthe memorial, a lightning rodnow runs to the ground on themonument. However, this maybe ineffective, for it is said thatonce a month Old Abe spreadshis wings and flies away over thebattlefield.Today, Old Abe is memorializedby a 6-foot bronze statue that sitsAnother popular tale centersaround the Wisconsin Memorialand its bronze eagle named
Old Abe was a bald eaglethat served as the mascot for the8
Wisconsin Infantry. Namedafter President AbrahamLincoln, Old Abe was proudlycarried into battle tethered to afive-foot perch painted red,white, and blue. When Old Abereceived an honorable dischargein 1864, he was a veteran of 42clashes and was presented to theState of Wisconsin. The famouswar eagle was an honoredresident of the Wisconsin StateCapitol until he died from smokeinhalation in 1881. Old Abe wasthen mounted and displayed inthe capitol until a second firedestroyed his remains.