Today we know a little bit more.
For example, did you know the battle was only 3 days long? Did you know 2/3rds of the approximately 51,000 soldiers who died as a result of the battle actually died from infections from their wounds? Or that it included regiments and batteries from 12 Southern and 18 Northern states. How about the fact that there were several families whose siblings fought for both sides against each other? Or that there was only one civilian who died as a result of the battle? Those are just a few of the interesting facts we learned on our tour.
Having never been to the area, we solicited advice on what was the best way to tour the park and battlefield. We could just wing it and drive around looking at the more than 1,300 monuments. We could hire a personal guide at the visitors center ($75) who would drive around with us and explain the battle. There are bus tours with a knowledgeable narrators, ($35/person) Or we could purchase one of the auto tour books and CD’s and take the self-guided tour ($30). We decided on the latter and for us, it was the right decision.
Before taking the tour, we walked the visitors center where they have a lot of weapons, clothing and other artifacts from the battle on display. Of particular interest to us were the guns and cannons used during the battle.
|The ball canister in the upper left would spread out 50 yards|
|Abe is sitting right outside the Visitors Center|
|Eternal Light Peace Memorial|
|North Carolina Monument|
|General Slocum Memorial|
|Sallie, the 11th Infantry mascot would often lay by the wounded in the battlefield|
The Auto Tour itself took about 3 hours. We drove the town a little more looking at the architecture of some of the buildings (including Dairy Queen!). There are dozens if not hundreds of additional attractions that you could stop at but we just wanted to get a general sense of the area and headed back west towards home. Along the way we spotted Mr. Ed's Elephant Museum and Candy Emporium. How could we not stop there?!?!?
We walked through the store, each got a candy bar and continued on our way.
For family fun this week we all went out and got a Christmas tree. When Jessica was growing up we would always go out to the local tree farm and cut our own. It warms your hearts that both of our kids are continuing this tradition by creating memories for their kids. So on a foggy Sunday morning we headed out looking for just the perfect tree....
|So many trees to choose from!|
|I think we have a winner! Notice a buck rubbed the tree on the left...|
|Dylan trying to cut the tree along with Shane and Jess|
|The happy family!|
|Barb made the Happy Campers sign up at Pasha Lake Cabins|
|Hard to see but that is a Christmas moose on top|
|We picked up the brass jingle bells at Magnolia Market in Waco|
|Santa has been with us for a few years but the pillows are a new addition|
|Crafty Barb even made the star on the top out of sticks!|
|This is my kind of toy store!|
|I did find a new bow I wanted but did not have a spare $1,000 burning a hole in my wallet|
|A Christmas present for Barb perhaps?|
We also went to see Santa and got a couple of pictures of the kids which are now on display in the house as Charlie watches over everyone to see if they are naughty or nice!
As our time here comes to an end, it is time to start packing up and getting things ready to move down the road. Besides organizing the belly Barb has been cleaning like crazy; kitchen, living room, bathroom, bedroom all clean and smelling like pinesol. I had two projects that I needed to work on. One was fixing a leaky toilet. Somehow, somewhere a fitting got a crack in it and started leaking. I ordered a new one, replaced the old one and guess what? It leaked worse than the one with a crack in it! Looking it over I could not see a way to take it apart and fix it bit I also saw that it had two rubber grommets that were supposed to prevent the water for leaking. Maybe, just maybe they were dried out and just needed some rehydrating. So I soaked the part in vegetable oil for a couple days and walah! It worked did not leak any more, I am a genius!
|This is the part that needed replacing|
|Pretty easy to replace, a hose clamp and snap it in place!|
|One of the two patches|
|Looks like it is holding air!|
Meanwhile, Jess has been trying to guilt us into staying until Christmas but it is time to give the kids their lives back and move on down the road. We have a rough travel route that will take through Maryland, Delaware, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and eventually Florida. We hope to take the coast most of the way but with the ever change December weather we are prepared to deviate and head inland or speed up our travel should we need to.
Wish us luck!