Log of our eighth trip of 1996

Our American Civil War Battlefield Trip
  • Gettysburg
  • Harper's Ferry
  • Antietam
  • Spotsylvania
  • Chancellorsville
  • The Wilderness
  • Fredericksburg One
  • Fredericksburg Two
  • Bull Run One
  • Bull Run Two
  • Petersburg
  • Richmond
  • Appomattox Court House
  • Manassas First
  • Manassas Second
  • Fort Sumter
  • Chattanooga
  • Chickamauga

And the Knoxville Zoo

August 5-17, 1996

Mileage Start 79,553 --  Home 81,614


Attended:  Dad, Matt

Click any of the images for a higher resolution picture (about 1 meg each)


This trip was originally scheduled for Algonquin.  During our last Gettysburg visit we found an unusual interest in the Civil War.  Matt, especially, has really gotten into it.  We've been to Algonquin.  Although there are a few big things we have yet to do there (go to the other side of the park) it's still Algonquin.  ACW (American Civil War) -- that's new!  We've rented innumerable videos (and bought some).  We've read many books.  We're looking forward to our visit starting with Gettysburg!


click for a larger imageOur latest visit was loads of fun.  Matt has a bugle!  $39 at an antique store.  We did many of the relic shops with the "Horse Soldier" still being the best.  I can very, very close to buying a 1861 musket!  We bought the other auto tour and took that.  We took pictures of the Irish Memorial.  We then went to find the other memorial that has a dog.  In order to do that, as we did not see it at first, we had to listen to the other tape (driving along with it).  We thought that it was near the center so we skipped the first quarter.  Turns out we did not see it.  We stopped at the PA monument and listened to the tape again.  After doing the tour twice we were quite anxious to find it.  After a while they finally talked about it.  We both yelled loudly ... definitely the rebel yell.

Harper's Ferry

This site was the most interesting.  The town was ... small.  The history talk at Boliver Heights was great.


Excellent guided auto tour.  Nice battlefield lay out.  Neat place.

Chancellorsville, The Wilderness, Spotsylvania, Fredericksburg

This is a many-month battle.  All four battlefields are similar.  There are two visitor's centers.  Fredericksburg has been built up and is but a shadow of the field.  Good info, though!

Bull Run One and Two

A really nice battlefield.  Many of the things that happened here became clearer when seeing from whence they happened.  There are two VERY busy roads that intersect the battlefield.


Richmond was OK.  Sing things that were happening there was useful.  The field itself is layed out all around Richmond.  Much is in the slums.


click for a larger image

click for a larger image

This was SUPER.  A MUST SEE!!!  We saw the field and it was OK as it talked a lot about sieges.  The neat part was the living history part.  Our first stop was to see a twelve pound Napoleon cannon demonstrated.  Imagine you are in a roped-off area.  From behind a hill, at full gallop, comes six horses pulling a cannon.  Nine men are all yelling to high heaven.  It is REALLY REALLY impressive.  They roar to a stop right in front of the roped off area, unhitch the horses and then take them below the hill.  They turn the limber and then begin to talk about the cannon, type of ammo, and what each person's job is.  They run through the firing and then do it for real (with one pound of powder but no ball).  BOOM!  Very impressive.  They also talk about and demo a mortar and fire a ball about 100 yards high and 200 yards away.  We also went to a recreated fort.  They had a siege line fort with actors (actually historians) in uniform.  They demonstrated a musket drill and fired their muskets.

Appomattox Court House

This was a long drive away.  The village is recreated and impressive fromt he standpoint of thinking of Lee riding away after his surrender.

Fort Sumter

This was neat but small.  From the standpoint of design (it was very well designed) it was interesting to hear what all it stood up to.  You take a three hour boat/walking visit.

Chattanooga and Chickamauga

We went to a commercial battlefield electric map.  Although it looked like a come-on, we figured we'd try.  It was very nice!  We did the Chickamauga visitor's center and program, saw the park, and went to lookout mountain.  You can see forever.  Matt was intrigued by the inclined railway.  Although I figured it would be a dud, it was pretty neat.


Matt's friend Shannon and her sister Kristen visited Knoxville Zoo.  It was a nice Zoo about 60% of the size of Cleveland.  We then went to Gatlinburg on the report there was a Civil War relic shop there.  It was a bust.  They swam from 1400 to 1700.  Matt went to Shannon's cheerleading practice and we did hot dogs on the grill.  They left about 2200.  A busy day!


For the first day, we really did nothing.  We slept in.  I read.  Matt played Gameboy.  Other than taking a shower:  nyet.  We did go see the mountains.



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