WARREN COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) - Warren County has roots that go way back to pre-history, not to mention the Civil War activity that happened here.
From the Big Black River to the Yazoo, here's a look at what's in Warren County.
The Big Black River forms the county line of more counties in Mississippi than any other single river, including Warren County. To the south it divides it from Claiborne county. To the east, Hinds.
The Yazoo also creates a part of the divide line between Warren and Issaquena and, of course there's that river that creates the western edge of Warren County, the Mississippi River.
All of these rivers have played into the counties culture and history.
Date-wise, French built Fort St. Pierre on this bluff overlooking the Yazoo River in Warren County in 1619. Just three years after Fort Rosalie in Natchez. Both were wiped out by Native Americans in the late 1620s. The spot was reused in the Civil War by the Confederates to keep the union from crawling into Vicksburg from up out of the Delta. But this was an ancient area way before then.
Just up Highway 3 from the site of Fort St. Pierre is the Haynes Bluff Mound. This Native American structure dates back from about 1300 to 1600 AD.
Then, just a little farther up Highway 3 from the Haynes Bluff Mound is Ballground. Legend has it that this area is where the Native Americans came to play stickball in ages past.
It seems forts were the big instigators of settlements in Warren County at first. After the Spanish took over from the French, they built Fort Nogales here. Named it that for all of the walnut trees. Nogales is supposed to be walnut trees in Spanish, or close enough to it. Close enough that when the English got the deed to the area just called it Walnut Hills.
My friend Jim Brieger, in his book "Home Town Mississippi", lists over 50 towns and villages that used to exist in Warren County. Then they invented the car and the need for a store at every crossroads fell away with the calendar pages.
Of those old towns, one is still with us that I want mention.
Jim says Bovina got its name from the two families who settled it, the Cowans and the Bullons. The wanted a name that would recognize both families for their town so they chose Bovina.
Cows? Bulls? Bovine. Aw, just Google it.
'Course at Bovina is where the railroad crosses the Big Black river. Did so during the Civil War, too. The Union chased the Confederate's across that bridge into Vicksburg after Champion Hill here. Way down there are the fragments of two Confederate steam boats, the Dot and the Charm. Sunk after use as makeshift bridges side by side to get troops across. The old railroad bridge was burned before the Union could use it, too.
And perhaps if you look at the waterline, and look back in time, you can see a little of what's left of a charred wooden piling down there. Or it may be something else entirely.
And that's Warren County. A little left of the lot that was here from way back, from way back in history and prehistory, all headed in an entirely new direction, nowadays.