Here's another view of the Edmund Pettus Bridge looking toward downtown. Who was Edmund Pettus anyway?
While this bridge today is well known for its Civil Rights history, it's not as well known for its Civil War history. No, the bridge wasn't around during that war, but it is named for one of Selma's most prominent citizens of the Civil War era. "Borrowing" from an article written by my eldest son, Pettus practiced law in nearby Cahawba, Alabama's first capital. When the war began, he organized the 20th Alabama Infantry Regiment and was elected major. During the Vicksburg Campaign of 1863, his commander called him "fearless and chivalrous" and praised his attempt to save one company that was cut off during the retreat. He was promoted to colonel, and after the fall of Vicksburg was promoted to brigadier general. He commanded his brigade at Lookout Mountain, Rocky Face Ridge and Resaca, and after the war, returned to Selma and later was elected to the U.S. Senate where he served with fellow Selmian John Tyler Morgan. When Pettus died in 1907, he was the last Confederate brigadier general to hold a seat in the Senate.
The other bridge across the river on the bypass is named for Selma's other Confederate general and U.S. senator, John Tyler Morgan.