Saturday, June 4, 2011

Easy Day

I arrived in Richmond last night and went to the Civil War museum. I did more Richmond stuff today and some non-Civil War stuff to give it a little bit of a break. I'm staying here one more night--thanks to a very generous hostess giving me a bed--which is a nice change of pace from all the driving.

First, pictures from yesterday.

This is Chatham house, which I mentioned yesterday. This is the back of the house.

 These are the gardens in the backyard, which unfortunately did not come through in the photos as well as I would've liked. But rest assured, it was gorgeous.
 From the front yard you could see the river. This is the river the Union soldiers crossed to get at the Confederates who were stationed up on Marye's Heights over yonder. They waited here for something like 12 days for their pontoons to arrive so they could cross. Fredericksburg was not a success for the Yanks.
 Pretty mossy statue peeking through the trees.
 This is at Chancellorsville. These pictures are sort of out of order but oh well. This was on one side of the monument and it says "Let us pass over the river and rest under the shade of the trees." These were Stonewall Jackson's last words. He was in a sort of delirium when he said it, but it seems like an awfully beautiful set of last words.
This is the formal monument placed at Chancellorsville near the site where he was mortally wounded. This is actually the backside of the monument. It was placed so that the front would face the highway and passersby would see it, but when the highway started having motor vehicle traffic instead of horse traffic I think they decided it was unsafe to have people approaching it from the other side. You can see some grey through the trees and that's the highway. Anyway! This was placed by soldiers after the war to commemorate him.
 This boulder was an informal monument placed here by someone to mark the place where Jackson was wounded.
 This sign was placed at the actual place where he was shot, so where I was standing and taking this picture is where it happened. Isn't this exciting?
 This is where he died. He was shot at Chancellorsville in the arm, ambulanced quite a ways away to this place to recover. His arm was amputated and he seemed to be doing fine until pneumonia took hold and did him in. It's likely he had pneumonia before the wound and amputation but the wound distracted from the pneumonia symptoms and his immune system was likely weakened by the whole ordeal so nothing could be done by the time they realized what was happening.
 This is the building he died in. There once was a house behind it but it was torn down by the railroad company. The railroad company also decided to preserve this building because Jackson died there. It was just an outbuilding to the house.
 This is the ACTUAL bed Jackson died in. Everything in this room is original to the room when he died in it.
 Including this clock. Which has been ticking on the mantel ever since.

Now to move into today which actually has very few pictures because the places I went did not allow photography. I slept in and then made my way over to the Museum of the Confederacy and the White House of the Confederacy. The tour of the white house was interesting, in large part because it's neat to see a period house and how it was laid out. After the fall of the Confederacy the house was turned into a school and the original furniture was sold off. The city almost tore it down to build a new school but a historical society saved it and then went about getting as much of the original furniture back as possible. Pretty neat to look at.

The Museum of the Confederacy was really well done, I thought. The layout made sense and was easy to follow and they had a good collection with good explanations of the flow of the war. I don't know why I didn't like the Civil War museum as much, because I know it's new and sort of what a good museum is supposed to be, but somehow this older one did a better job for me.

After those two things, I went to the Hollywood Cemetery. Which took a ridiculous amount of time and turning around because I had left my GPS on walking directions so it kept trying to get me to go the wrong way down one-ways. I didn't realize why until later in the day when I was trying to map a longer distance and it told me it would take 6 hours to get there. Anyway, I got there and got lost almost right away because it was so much larger than I had expected and I couldn't see how anyone would ever manage to find a specific grave.

I happened along the family plot of Jefferson Davis, which was all decked out in memorial decorations from various historical societies.
 I took it from far away, I guess, but there is a statue of Davis in the middle and his wife and children are buried around him. So is a more distant relative that died in 1991.

I was going to give up and leave the cemetery because I couldn't find what I was looking for (I did accidentally find James Monroe, though) so I started winding my way out. I stopped in a parking spot at the entrance to GPS my next destination when I saw a stone map of the cemetery. I got out of my car to look and see what I missed when a groundskeeper of some sort asked if I wanted a map, he had one left. I took it and went back in to see the Confederate section of the cemetery. Which is, oddly, on the opposite side of where Davis is.
 This says "Fate denied them victory but gave them a glorious immortality." Which I liked.
 "Gettysburg Dead."
The granite pyramid built to honor all of the Confederate dead surrounding it. 

 "Memoria in aeterna"

Then I decided to do some non-Civil War activities. I went to Maymont park and wandered around for a bit. It's big and pretty with lots of flowers.

And some waterfalls.

I started to get really hungry and I decided to eat not at McDonalds so I stayed in the city and found a district that is just one long road of shops and restaurants. I walked along it for awhile and then found a barbecue place and went inside and got a table for one. I ordered a pulled pork sandwich and then started trying all 5 of the barbecue sauces on the table. The man working in the kitchen, who may be a manager or an owner or something, saw me and came over to tell me the I should put one of two sauces on my sandwich because they go best with pork. We started talking and he asked if I ate there often and I said I'd never been to Richmond before, he asked if I was a tourist and since I sort of hate that word I said no, just passing through. Briefly explained that I was thinking of moving to Knoxville but was fresh out of college with no job or apartment so didn't really know for sure where I would end up. He said he was from Tennessee and he said Knoxville is a good place and it isn't as hot as some other places and that it would be a good place to start. He said I was brave and then walked back to the kitchen.

I eat really quickly and don't really breathe or chew my food. I also hadn't eaten for 5 1/2 hours which is a long, long time for me to go without eating. I finished my sandwich in seconds. Then I saw him walking back over to my table and he says "You went through that pretty fast. This is from me." And he put a whole sandwich worth of pork on my plate! For FREE! I ate that pretty quick, too, but tried to slow down so I didn't continue looking like a ravenous monster. When I was done, he said it was nice to meet me and wished me luck.

People can be so nice! And I have the best luck when it comes to free food.

Even though I was really full at that point, I still had ice cream on my mind so I went down the street to get some of that before heading out of the city for the night. I stopped at Barnes & Noble on the way in, too, just because it's my happy place.

Starting off early tomorrow morning and hope to be in Lexington by tomorrow night. Then Knoxville the day after!

Oh, going through my files (i.e. piles of possessions) I found these quite relevant, un-cited quotes I coped down at some point. I think they're all from the same person.

"We either make ourselves miserable or we make ourselves strong. The amount of work is the same."

"All paths lead nowhere, so it is important to choose a path that has heart."

"It is important to do what you don't know how to do. It is important to see your skills as keeping you from learning what is deepest and mysterious. If you know how to focus, unfocus. If your tendency is to make sense out of chaos, start chaos."

1 comment:

  1. I love your updates! I know the quotes are random for today, but they all hit really close to home right now. urgh. Call me on Monday while you're driving through...?