Civil War Trip Day 1
My father and I decided to take a whirlwind civil war trip through Virginia mostly centering around Richmond. Since I lived in DC for a couple of years we have seen most the big battles up there. We wanted to hit all the out of the way places that we have heard about but never really seen. We left Sunday afternoon after masses and couple other events and then drove half way and stop in Beckley, West Virginia. Today we woke up and got on the road finishing the drive through the mountains and hitting Appomattox Courthouse, the place of General Lee’s surrender. It was really out of the way and there was not much there beside the Mclean house and basically the whole village that the National Park system acquired over the last hundred years. Kind of cool but really more interesting to have just made it to the place where the war all but came to an end.
The road that we then followed into Richmond was basically the route that Lee’s army took on its retreat from Richmond. We stopped for a few other sites. Saylor’s Creek was another small battlefield that was the place of General Ewell’s men surrender. They served as a rear guard for Lee’s army and the loose of 7,000 men was a devastating blow to the Army of Northern Virginia.
The other site near Saylor’s Creek is a placed called High Bridge. A Very aptly named bridge that spans about 2,500 feet over the Appomattox River. It was a place a two smaller battles, small but very vicious fighting. The two sides actually fought all around the bridge and even on its span, which is just crazy after walking it
today. Both Saylor’s Creek and High Bridge are State parks but both are excellent. There is a very nice visitor center with very helpful rangers at Saylor’s Creek and High Bridge a very helpful young man who was working there through Americorps. He actually walked the entire span of the bridge explaining its history and showing us historical photos. I just hope he made it home before he got soaked by the heavy rain we got later this evening.
Our home base is northern Richmond for the next few days. Tomorrow we will conquer Richmond and its surrounding battlefields.