Civil War Battles - Virginia & Pennsylvania

Discussion in 'Travel Stories' started by giradman, May 26, 2015.

  1. giradman

    giradman
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    Susan & I just returned from a 6-night trip into Virginia (VA) & southern Pennsylvania (PA) mainly to visit a number of American Civil War battlesites - not really her interest so had to entice her w/ some wonderful hotels along the way - ;)

    Now, this could be a short or a long travelogue depending on the interest of others in the topic and the responses received, so will start and see what happens?

    This first post will simply be an itinerary of our trip which included a one night stay in Petersburg, VA, three nights in Tysons Corner, VA near Washington, D.C., and two nights in Richmond, VA (the current capital of that state & also the capital of the Confederacy during the Civil War).

    Below are 4 maps - the first is our drive from Winston-Salem, NC (our home town) to Petersburg, VA (about 3 hours); the second map from Petersburg to Tysons Corner, VA; the third image, our day trip into southern PA to Gettysburg; and the final one from Tysons Corner to Richmond for two nights.

    I put over 900 miles on our car and we had a wonderful time although the traffic around D.C. on a holiday weekend (i.e. Memorial Day) was terrible! BUT, we survived - SO, this will be the start and is not chronological - hope that some will be interested which will help to guide me - Dave :)
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    VA_Leg1.png VA_Leg2.png VA_Leg3.png Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 8.06.32 PM.png
     
  2. scifan57

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    It sounds like this will turn out to be another very interesting travelogue. I await further instalments.

    The closest I've been to this part of the country is the naval base at Norfolk, Virginia.
     
  3. 2112

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    4 cups wheat flour, 2 cups water, 2 tea spoons salt, (mix salt in water before adding)= Civil War hard tack. This I believe to be the most accurate recipe. Some debate wether they used wheat or white flour. I think wheat, what do you think giradman ?
     
  4. giradman

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    Hi and welcome to the thread - assume that you have an interest in the Civil War w/ the recipe above for Hard Tack - believe that the ingredients are correct - of course, the aging process that includes the addition of live maggots would complete the 'dish' - ;) Dave

    P.S. Hope that you'll join in w/ my upcoming posts :)
     
  5. giradman

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    Hi Scifan.. - map below shows Norfolk, VA; the peninsula between the York & James Rivers is the location of Jamestown (1607 - first English permanent settlement) and later Williamsburg, the colonial capital of the state (great places to visit). The famous battle between the Union & Confederate ironclads (quote below) occurred @ Hampton Roads (about where the red arrow is placed). The Chesapeake Bay Bridge & Tunnel is a wonderful experience (described & pictured in my travelogue on the eastern VA coast, i.e. Chincoteague). Dave :)

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    Screen Shot 2015-05-26 at 10.49.04 PM.png
     
  6. scifan57

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    When I visited Norfolk it was with the Royal Canadian Navy. I certainly remember the Chesapeake Bay bridge and tunnel, we sailed above the tunnel on our way to the Norfolk navy base. At the time, I had no idea that the site of the battle between the Monitor and the C.S.S. Virginia was so close at hand. I've heard both ships referred to as ironclads but that's incorrect. Only the Virginia was an ironclad, the Monitor was an iron ship with iron frames and hull plating. It was also the first warship to mount it's guns in a rotating turret, allowing it to fire in any direction without changing course.

    BTW, the H. L. Hunley, first submarine to sink a surface ship in battle, was discovered by author Clive Cussler.
     
    #6 scifan57, May 26, 2015
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  7. The OB

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    Definitely interested Dave, so don't you dare abridge, shorten, cease or cut off at the pass any of your great travelogues:) they are becoming my staple reading fare (including lingering views of those seafood dishes)
    Just to enquire about your home town Winston-Salem... apologies if you covered this before, I might have missed it.
    I was somewhat intrigued by the "Salem" part. Is that the spot where certain witches in American history of long ago were, let's say, gotten hot under the collar:(? If so, I'm interested as to what extent that is still recorded or displayed, e.g. maybe monuments or tourist attractions, maybe witch-burning souvenirs? Or is it not talked about any more? If that is the place, of course.
    Andrew


    Sent from my iPad Air2 using Tapatalk
     
  8. giradman

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    Hi Scifan.. - sorry to be rather generic in my description of the 'iron' ships, the Monitor & Merrimac, so some more information - below another introductory description of the naval battle (Source for a LOT more detail, if interested). The Merrimac was built from the remnants of the CSS Virginia, a wooden hull ship, by adding iron plates - an iron ram was added and the remodeled ship carried 10 guns.

    The Monitor was a radical design for an iron ship by the Swedish engineer & inventor, John Erricson - below are a few pics from the web - the Monitor as described above had a revolving turret w/ two guns - the two opposing ships fought for hours w/o much damage to either - but the battle pretty much ended the era of wooden ship navies in the world. Many more ironclads & 'monitors' were built and used in other naval & amphibious Civil War battles (e.g. along the Mississippi, Tennessee, & Cumberland Rivers; and the capture of New Orleans & Mobile, Alabama).

    Years ago on a trip to the lower VA peninsula, Susan & I along w/ our son took a boat tour out of Newport News (see previous map) which took us to the point of the encounter w/ an excellent narrated discussion of the battle - worth a visit to be on the water at the very site. Dave :)

    P.S. the Monitor had a number of nicknames, the most common seem to be 'Cheesebox on a raft' - ;)

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    Ironclads_battle_7.jpgThe_Monitor_and_Merrimac.jpg


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    #8 giradman, May 27, 2015
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  9. giradman

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    For a former 'navy man', Scifan.. knows his history - :) The H.L. Hunley was the first submarine to sink an enemy warship in battle - a little more information quoted below from HERE - a number of crews were lost 'testing' the vessel, but success was finally achieved (but no one lived to brag about the attack!) - second quote below (same source).

    The sunken Hunley was finally located in 1995 and raised in 2000 - the 'remains' are in North Carleston being studied and restored - reservations can be made to visit the vessel which we almost did on our last trip to the city - will definitely do next time. Dave :)

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    css_hl_hunley.jpg hunley-in-lab.jpg
     
    #9 giradman, May 27, 2015
    Last edited: May 27, 2015
  10. giradman

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    Hi Andrew and thanks - seems to be some interest in the American Civil War - I'll plan to go into some more details w/ each post! :)

    Concerning the name of our home town Winston-Salem (not two many hyphenated cities around) - we are located in Piedmont, NC closer to the Blue Ridge Mtns than the Atlantic coast (basically 3 vs. 4-5 hrs). The area was first settle by Moravians traveling from Bethlehem, PA down the old 'wagon road' - the first towns here were established in the 1750s, i.e. Bethabara & Bethania (still around w/ historic areas to visit) - in 1766, another town was started and named Salem (after 'shalom' for peace); now wonderfully restored (like a miniature Williamsburg) and known as Old Salem - strongly recommended for those coming through the area.

    In the mid-19th century, the town of Winston was established nearby mainly due to industrial & tobacco interests spearheaded in the 1870s by R.J Reynolds - to avoid duplicating urban services (e.g. trolleys, police force, etc), the two towns merged in 1913 and became the 'Twin City' - introductory history of Winston quoted below (Source for more details).

    R.J. Reynolds in its 'hey days' released a lot of name brand cigarettes including Winston & Salem - many who did not know the history of this city assumed that it was named after the cigarettes - always gave me a chuckle - :) Dave

    P.S. as to the witches - that Salem is in Massachusetts - location of the 'House of Seven Gables' and has a great 'Witch Museum' - New England coastal areas are wonderful places to visit and for those into food, some of the best lobsters, clams, & steamers!


     
    #10 giradman, May 27, 2015
    Last edited: May 27, 2015

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