"Hoosier" Relief Comes To Magnolia State - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/14/05

"Hoosier" Relief Comes To Magnolia State

More than 200 Indiana police officers, forest rangers, national guardsmen, nurses and other relief staff are here in South Mississippi helping us recover from Hurricane Katrina.

On Wednesday, workers with "Operation Hoosier Relief" were at the historical last home of Confederate president Jefferson Davis in Biloxi also known as Beauvoir.

Hundreds of years of beauty were one in a day. Katrina toppled many of Beauvoir's beautiful trees. Now Indiana Forest rangers have the difficult task of taking chainsaws to live oaks.

Drew Daily works wit the Indiana Division of Forestry.

"We just cut a tree not too long ago that we're figuring is about 700 years old. It's a shame to see those mature trees that have historical significance in themselves to have them gone and damaged."

In the Confederate graveyard, Indiana National guardsmen carefully put headstones back on the resting places of soldiers of the past.

"We saw the cemetery over there, and we thought it would be a great project for soldier to soldier to clean up those graves and make it fit again," said Dave Perkins of the Indiana Task Force. "When we came it ask about the project it turned into a big one which is just fantastic."

Since the search for artifacts just began Beauvoir officials aren't sure what is still here and what has been washed out to sea. The Indiana group says they're also finding little pieces of history here.

"There are artifacts that are located within the debris fields and the damage here. It's just a shame to see what happened here to this historical place," said Daily.

Dave Perkins said "It's an honor to be able work here on the estate. We're going to do whatever we can. Anything we can do to try to restore this fantastic place."

by Danielle Thomas

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