Vultures

Feb 17, 2020

Credit K. Ouchley

Writing of the carnage at Vicksburg during the Civil War, a teenage girl living near what is now West Monroe made an interesting natural history observation. She stated: "...we hear from the best and most direct sources that the Yankee dead lie in heaps about our entrenchments; it is horrible to relate, sickening to think, but so curious a fact that I must note it down, all the vultures have left this country, a carcass may lie for days untouched, those creatures have gone eastward in search of nobler game; how terrible is war!"

Vultures get a bad rap. At best they are thought of as nature's garbage men - not a bad label, by the way.