While this is not specifically Civil War related, it does have enough of a bearing on our Louisiana heritage that I feel the readers of this board should be made aware of this situation.
The United States Congress has decided, in its infinite wisdom, to shut down operations of the steamboat Delta Queen. For years, the DQ has plied the rivers of this country, exposing us to a bygone era. Since 1998, she has gone up and down the Red River. She is the only Mississippi steamer who can fit through the locks into the river, so once she is gone, Red River steamboats will be a thing of the past. The DQ has a wooden superstructure and does not meet current safety requirements - unlike cars and trucks, which kill dozens of thousands of people a years - and for the past 40 years or so the DQ has received a waiver to operate. That waiver was not granted this year. The DQ will continue to operate until November 2008, after which time steamboats on the Red will be officially extinct.
Seems to me that if we can save a snail darter from extinction, we ought to be able to save an American icon. Please contact your congressman and senators and let's see if we can't save the Delta Queen. Thanks.
(And just for the record, the Delta Queen does have several Civil War cruises a year. In 1999, she was ambushed by an artillery battery of reenactors below Alexandria. She surrendered, and left the scene with her calliope playing "Dixie." You had to be there . . .!