Thursday, June 03, 2010

It's Hot Here

We are sitting here in Ashland, Virginia, just north of Richmond. Temperatures are in the high 80s during the day, the low 70s overnight. And we only have one air conditioner! We are sitting here, waiting for a new Dometic A/C to be delivered and installed. The good news:it is under warranty. More good news: the Magnolia trees are still in bloom here.

More good news: there is lots to do here. So, we may not be quite as comfortable as we would like, but we do have one working A/C and it is a good place to be, especially if you are interested in the history of the Civil War.

We visited the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park in Fredericksburg yesterday. The visitor center and Sunken Road Walking Trail were very interesting. The road is the site of the December 13, 1862, defeat of Union General Burnside's troops by those led by Confederate General Robert E. Lee. Here is a section of the original walls along the Sunken Road.

The Confederate troops were between these walls, firing at the Federal troops attacking from the left. Up the hill to the right, Confederate artillery was also firing at the Federal troops. This monument honors Richard Rowland Kirkland, a Confederate soldier that took pity on the injured Federal troops that lay near the wall for two days. He filled several canteens with water and began taking them to the wounded soldiers. Troops on both sides held their fire for two hours to allow him to bring water to the wounded. Kirkland is called the "Angel of Marye's Heights."

At the top of the hill is the Union Cemetery, authorized by Congress in July 1865, three months after the war ended. The bodies of those killed in the Fredericksburg area where battles also were fought in 1863 and 1864, were moved from crude cemetery plots scattered haphazardly across nearby battlefields. The majority of the bodies are unidentified.

Upright stones list the names of identified remains. Small flat markers like this show the cemetery section and the number of unidentified remains buried there (five).

We also explored downtown Fredericksburg. There are lots of shops there in restored old, and I do mean old, buildings. This stone structure was built in 1813 as a dry goods warehouse. Now owned by the City of Fredericksburg, it is rented by a shop selling Civil War artifacts.

1 comment:

  1. Are you going to Harpers Ferry? Oh, I know I'm probably too late and you're already gone.