Could I have any more to say about Virginia? Well, a teeny bit actually. I finished writing up my holiday diaries last week, and I managed to include quite a lot of our 2008 trip where the two routes crossed. I also wrote about our time in the Historic Triangle (Jamestown, Williamsburg and Yorktown) during April’s A to Z Challenge, but there are a few places that didn’t fit into either category. Librarians like things neat and tidy, so here they are.
Civil War sites
I’ve probably mentioned before how eerie I find Civil War sites. Fredericksburg is a case in point. The Union General, Burnside, sent his troops uphill against Lee’s Confederates, most of whom were dug in behind a wall along Sunken Road at the base of Marye’s Heights. The road has been restored to look as it did in 1862 – you can walk along it and climb the Heights from which it’s easy to imagine the soldiers being mown down.
I thought I’d never heard of Manassas until I realised it was the site of Bull Run, which I remembered from school as the first major clash of the Civil War. Again, the site slopes and when you get to the top the Visitor Centre disappears. You are swept back in time, wondering what it would be like to hide in the (restored) houses while the battle raged around you. This is also where Stonewall Jackson got his nickname and his statue is prominent.
Appomatox was where Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant on April 9th, 1865, effectively ending the Civil War. Today, the twenty or so buildings of the old village have been restored as part of the National Park Service.
We stayed a few nights in Charlottesville so that we could visit Monticello, home of Thomas Jefferson.
Monticello is a must-see, and we enjoyed it, but we actually preferred Ash Lawn-Highland built by 5th president, James Monroe, who moved to Charlottesville because of his friendship with Jefferson. It’s a much more modest affair.
Finally in Charlottesville, we took a stroll round Jefferson’s University of Virginia with its Rotunda inspired by the Pantheon in Rome.
I hope I haven’t misattributed the locations of any of these photos – my memory is a bit hazy after 6 years, so that’s perfectly possible. Anyway, it’s now farewell to Virginia – until the next time.