That is very cool that you grew up in Vicksburg. That is one place I would like to visit someday. I will probably be 80 when I do get the chance to go at the rate I am going.
The furthest south I have ever been is to some of battlefields in northern Virginia. I liked Virginia, they served crab cakes at their McDonalds and their were many waffle houses.
Yes, thats true during the seize (sp?) at Vicksburg many of the citizens dug caves into the sides of hills to ride it out. They had a heck of a time. No medicine, no food, etc.
You really should of kept a relic or two, but you gotta be careful about relic hunting, its sounds like this place was on private property, so it might not have been a problem, but I am pretty sure it is illegal on battlefields that are on National Park property now. I am sure you know that though.