Civil War Trip Day 4 and 5
Yesterday we traveled north from Richmond to visit the Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Wilderness, and Spotsylvania battlefields. All very nice and well taken care of, Fredericksburg has suffered the most over the years. Only a small amount of it remains, but what does remain is very interesting. The old stone wall that Lee’s troops used is still there and after seeing it you can understand why the confederates won. It is a battle that stayed with the union troops because they chanted “Fredericksburg” as the confederates came at them in Pickett’s charge at Gettysburg. At Gettysburg the union troops had the stone wall and they won.
Chancellorsville was a nice battlefield and well preserved this is the battle in which Jackson was shot by his own troops and would later die. We saw both the wounding site and the place of his death miles away. The wilderness is my favorite battlefield and battle. While it is unknown by most is was the start of Grant taking control of the eastern theater of war and so the beginning of his march to Richmond and Petersburg. Spotsylvania was his next battle and it stretched about a two week period however both The Wilderness and Spotsylvania had 15,000 casualties but unlike Spotsylvania The Wilderness only lasted two days.
To end out the day 3 we raced home beating the storms that were rolling through. We got home just in time to see it roll into Richmond and as we watched out our window we lost power. It did come back about 4 hours later so that’s why there was no post yesterday.
Today, the ffifth day, we traveled to Manassas battlefield park. Better known as Bull Run in the north we just stopped in to get the 150th patches and see a couple sites before we traveled onto Front Royal. On the way we passed through Thoroughfare Gap which was the place of smaller battle. We traveled up and down 81 and saw Winchester which was the place of many civil war battles. We saw Cedar Creek and also went down to New Market. All of these sites are privately owned or state owned sites. Both Cedar Creek and New Market are pretty nice while Winchester is all but gone because of urban sprawl. This Shenandoacorridor was very important in the war but not well remembered.
The list of sites we visited is basically this….
Manassas, Beaver Creek, Gaines Mill, Seven Pines, Savage’s Station, White Oak Swamp, Glendale, Malvern Hill, Drewry’s Bluff, Yorktown, Winchester, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Cedar Creek, New Market, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Jackson death site, J.E.B. Stuart death site, Thoroughfare Gap, Fort Monroe, Saw the USS Monitor, Cold Harbor, Petersburg, saw the crater at Petersburg, Saylor’s Creek, High Bridge, Appomattox Court House.
My tradition is that I try and buy patches that commemorate the battles or sites we see. So needless to say on this trip I doubled what I currently have.