Monday, May 5, 2014

Settling In...

So, being that we're only about 15 minutes away, this weekend we took in some history.


National Battlefield Park, Manassas, VA.

It's interesting. Living in Massachusetts, the site of the Pilgrims' landing and the birthplace of the American Revolution, we sometimes forget that there's plenty of history outside of our borders. There's Jamestown, older than Plimouth; there's the lost colony of Roanoke; and there are of course all kinds of Revolutionary War attractions.

But there's no Civil War *anything* in Massachusetts.


This weekend we learned about the first engagement in the American Civil war, the Battle of First Manassas, as well as the Battle of Second Manassas in the same field.


We learned about "Stonewall" Jackson - every bit the American hero as Sam Adams, Paul Revere, or George S. Patton.


We discovered Judith Henry, a civilian casualty of war caught, literally, in the crossfire.


Aside from the power lines in the background, it's not hard to imagine things as they were over 150 years ago here.


While it's nothing like a Hellfire missile or a 105 mm Howitzer, the twelve-pound cannon meant instant death - for the lucky ones not shredded by canister shot.


One somber reminder about the toll of warfare: In the battle of Gettysburg, some 50,000 soldiers were killed, maimed, or missing, nearly an order of magnitude more than both the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns. Not to downplay the soldiers killed or wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, of course; but to point out the true horror of the American Civil War.

We are not at the point now; after visiting Bull Run, I hope we never reach it again.

That is all.

8 comments:

Ted said...

Well to be fair back here in the Peoples Republic of Markachusettes we do have at least one Civil War memorial.

The "General Hooker" entrance to the State House is really a memorial to a Civil War general.


....... And not just an instructional term as to which entrance should be used

Old NFO said...

Yep, it's not until you walk those fields that the horror that took place really comes home... Just wait until you do Gettysburg...

Roy said...

Yes, you should definitely visit Gettysburg. It's not far from where you live. But most of the war in the east took place in northern Virginia between DC and Richmond.

Indeed, today marks the 150th anniversary of the start of the battle of the Wilderness. It was the kickoff to over a month of constant battle & maneuver between Lee and Grant in the Grant's 1864 "overland" campaign. It started in the Wilderness & ended with the siege of Petersburg.

You are living only a stones throw away from all of it.

Hafnhaf said...

come down to Williamsburg/Jamestown/Yorktown ans see where it all started.

LCB said...

Did you know a farmer on the First Manassas battlefield moved to where he thought he would be far away from the war...to Appomattox Courthouse.

One version of the story says he owned the house where Lee surrendered.

Robert said...

Judith Henry is a relative of mine, back through my father's mother.

Robert said...

LCB, and then there was the guy that went off to fight in the army during the Civil War, and ended up getting killed fighting on his own farmland during the battle of Gettysburg...

RabidAlien said...

Gettysburg. I look forward to visiting there again someday. And to finally get to visit Mannassas and Appomattox and Bull Run and all the other battlefields.