Friday, September 19, 2008

Submarine Smuggling not a new concept...

If you haven't seen it yet, CNN reported this week that smugglers have turned to submarines in an effort to sneak drugs across the Gulf of Mexico and into the United States.

As novel as it might sound, this is not exactly a new idea. In true Southern tradition, moonshiners on the Mississippi River once used a homemade submarine to slip illegal whiskey to shore from a hidden island distillery. Powered by a Model T Ford engine, the little one man sub carried moonshine from Davis Island to shore during the early days of prohibition.

The Mississippi Moonshine Running Submarine is now a permanent exhibit at one of my favorite historic sites, Grand Gulf Military Monument near Port Gibson, Mississippi. The site of an important battle during the Civil War's Vicksburg Campaign, Grand Gulf was a significant community on the Mississippi River during antebellum times.

Floods and disease drove away most of the inhabitants, however, and most of what remained of the town was destroyed during the war. The park today preserves a fascinating array of historic sites and artifacts, including earthwork forts and entrenchments, historic structures... and the moonshine running submarine!

You can learn more about Grand Gulf Military Monument and its little known submarine by visiting

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