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Civil War Battles - Virginia & Pennsylvania

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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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.
 

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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 ?
 
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giradman

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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 ?

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 :)
 
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giradman

giradman

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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.

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 :)

Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack, also called Battle of Hampton Roads, (March 9, 1862), in the American Civil War, naval engagement at Hampton Roads, Virginia, a harbour at the mouth of the James River, notable as history's first duel between ironclad warships and the beginning of a new era of naval warfare.

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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.
 
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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


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giradman

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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 C. L. Hunley, first submarine to sink a surface ship in battle, was discovered by author Clive Cussler.

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' - ;)

The Battle of Hampton Roads, often referred to as either the Battle of the Monitor and Merrimack (or Virginia) or the Battle of Ironclads, was the most noted and arguably most important naval battle of the American Civil Warfrom the standpoint of the development of navies. It was fought over two days, March 8–9, 1862, in Hampton Roads, a roadstead in Virginia where the Elizabeth and Nansemond Rivers meet the James River just before it enters Chesapeake Bay adjacent to the city of Norfolk. The battle was a part of the effort of the Confederacy to break the Union blockade, which had cut off Virginia's largest cities, Norfolk and Richmond, from international trade.
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giradman

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BTW, the C. L. Hunley, first submarine to sink a surface ship in battle, was discovered by author Clive Cussler.

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 H. L. Hunley was a submarine of the Confederate States of America that played a small part in the American Civil War. The Hunley demonstrated the advantages and the dangers of undersea warfare. She was the first combat submarine to sink a warship, although the Hunley was not completely submerged and, following her successful attack, was lost along with her crew before she could return to base. The Confederacy lost 21 crewmen in three sinkings of the Hunley during her short career. She was named for her inventor, Horace Lawson Hunley, shortly after she was taken into government service under the control of the Confederate Army at Charleston, South Carolina.

On February 17, 1864, The Hunley attacked and sank the 1240-short ton (1124 metric tons)[2]screw sloopUSS Housatonic, which had been on Union blockade-duty in Charleston's outer harbor. Soon afterwards, the Hunley sank, killing all eight of her third crew. This time, the innovative ship was lost.

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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giradman

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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

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!

In 1849, the Salem congregation sold land north of Salem to the newly formed Forsyth County for a county seat. The new town was called "the county town" or Salem until 1851 when it was named Winston for a local hero of the Revolutionary War, Joseph Winston.[9] For its first two decades, Winston was a sleepy county town. In 1868, work began by Salem and Winston business leaders to connect the town to the North Carolina Railroad.[10] That same year, Thomas Jethro Brown of Davie County rented a former livery stable and established the first tobacco warehouse in Winston. That same year, Pleasant Henderson Hanes, also of Davie, built his first tobacco factory a few feet from Brown's warehouse. In 1875, Richard Joshua Reynolds, of Patrick County, Virginia, built his first tobacco factory a few hundred feet from Hanes's factory. By the 1880s, there were almost 40 tobacco factories in the town of Winston. Hanes and Reynolds would compete fiercely for the next 25 years, each absorbing a number of the smaller manufacturers, until Hanes sold out to Reynolds in 1900 to begin a second career in textiles.
 
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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 & Bethany (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!
Thanks Dave, most informative. Interesting how town names are duplicated within a relatively "small" geographic area. We have that in spades in our country, mainly English towns/cities.
Also interesting the association of the name of Reynolds, that we now recognise, with the tobacco industry.
Andrew
 

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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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You've shown a good photo of the Hunley, there. I noticed that it doesn't match the drawing exactly. They probably found a number of differences between what they thought was there and what the examination of the actual vessel revealed. I remember reading that the remains of the crew were removed and buried beside the two crews who had died while testing the Hunley.

If you visit the Hunley on this trip or in the future I'm sure you'll give us one of your excellent illustrated stories. Thanks for posting the info.
 

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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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Thanks for a most excellent description of the two vessels. A number of years ago I watched an excellent Movie of the battle between the two ironclads. You may have seen it but I don't remember the name right now.
 
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giradman

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Thanks for a most excellent description of the two vessels. A number of years ago I watched an excellent Movie of the battle between the two ironclads. You may have seen it but I don't remember the name right now.

Thanks - now sure about the film (documentary) mentioned above, but may have seen it also? We likely will be back on Kiawah Island next spring, so may do a couple nights in Charleston and definitely pay the Hunley a visit!

For those who may have an interest in the American Civil War, there are thousands of books & videos, so hard to suggest what to read or view first (and of course many will have their own favorites); BUT, my first two recommendations: 1) Battle Cry of Freedom by James McPherson for a 'single' volume book; published in 1998 and winner of a Pulitzer Prize; and 2) The Civil War by Ken Burns for a video series.

NOW, if you want a college level discussion, then the Teaching Company's course on 'The American Civil War' is recommended - 48 lectures (30 mins each) - I'm currently re-watching this series (probably for the 10th time or so - can't remember).

There are PLENTY of other choices, but the first two are a good start - Dave :)
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