Tuesday, May 29, 2012


This has nothing to do with the Civil War except that we can't go to the sites in Savannah and Charleston because of Beryl. Did we whine about it? No, au contraire...we wined! We found a neat little boutique winery in Ridgeland just 16 minutes south of where we are...much closer than the grocery store which was 30 miles away! In any event, the wine tasting was fun, educational and now we have another souvenir wine glass...just what we need. It has been raining since we reached South Point. Hopefully, tomorrow we will be able to visit Ft. Pulaski and Old Ft. Jackson in Savannah as they predict it will be 30% chance of rain rather than 90%. Our wine that we bought today, September Oaks Vineyard Lenoir, is 12% and that's nothing to whine about either!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Go Navy or Go Army?

Hey there sailor! Can you imagine signing a parental consent to let your 13 year old boy join the Civil War Navy? Well, it is so as you can see. Perhaps lots of parents these days would like to be able to do that! They served as "powder monkeys" because of their agility and speed to move gunpowder from the hold deep in the ship to the gun crews on deck. We were even more amazed at the number of ships that were used in the Civil War. There were brown water vessels that were used in rivers; green water vessels that were used on the coastal areas; and blue water vessels that were used in the deep ocean. In the museum we saw the remains of the stern of the CSS Chatahoochee and the remains of the CSS Jackson. Although the Naval Museum was interesting, I am still an Army girl! Go Army!!

Friday, May 25, 2012


POW, not as in Batman, but as in Prisoner of War. Today we visited the Andersonville Prison, Cemetery and National POW Museum. It was eye-opening to say the least. It was an hour and a half drive each way, BUT the 3.5 hour tour was worth it. I'm in the process of trying to post all 91 photos I took...if I can figure out how to upload to Google web album thru Picasa. One of the things we learned is that the POW's in the Civil War were very creative...for entertainment, they would have lice races!! They would put a ring in the middle of a pan which was out in the sun. SO, it was hot!!! The first louse to crawl out of the circle was the loser. So many prisoners died from dysentery...they were sitting on the soil that Kaopectate was made from and they didn't even know it. They should have eaten dirt! Some prisoners were women. One woman disguised herself as a man. She was able to live through the war/prison and her gender wasn't discovered until she was hit by a car in the early 1900's and taken to the hospital! Some of the photos we saw of the prisoners were very upsetting so I did not capture them. They are embedded in my mind unfortunately. Tomorrow we are off to the National Civil War Naval Museum. Stay tuned...

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Maps and Apps

Today we are headed to the First White House of the Confederacy, occupied by Jefferson Davis when Montgomery was the capital of the Confederacy. I have the luxury of using a Garmin Nuvi, Google, Verizon Navigator and an actual map. I am pondering two things: 1) How did I learn to read a map (Perry says I still haven't!) and 2) How did the armies know where they were going and where the opposing troops were? I have so much to learn...is there an app for that?

Monday, May 21, 2012

In the Trenches

"In the trenches"...we all have heard that saying. Today we learned what it really meant to be digging a trench, being in the trench and getting out of the trench. The Union men must have had very strong backs and strong morale for they dug one trench 15 feet in front of the Confederate lines. They zig-zagged them to confuse the enemy. They dug many, many trenches. Some cursed, some prayed. Some made it out alive, some died. So it is with us, when we are in the trenches fighting our enemy, we can either curse or pray. Cursing may release the stress, but prayer releases power. Either one does not mean we will make it out of the trench alive, but prayer will help to go in peace even while the battle rages around us. Selah.

The USS Cairo was sunk in 1862 by an electrically detonated mine by the Confederates. All men were safe, but the ship sunk in 12 minutes! It was raised in 1964 and many artifacts were found and cleaned up. The gunboat has been restored and we found this truly amazing and interesting.
These are just a few of the  17,000 Civil War Union soldiers who are buried in Vicksburg National Cemetery. There are 5,000 Confederates buried in a totally different cemetery. We didn't get to see that. We are thankful Pemberton surrendered to Grant so that no more lives were lost here. Speaking of lost, we hope we don't get that way on the road to Montgomery, AL tomorrow.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Too Much Time

Yesterday we went to the French Quarter. There really wasn't much to see there concerning the Civil War except for the U.S. Mint which served as both U.S. and Confederate. Minting commenced in 1838. In 1861, when Louisiana seceded from the union, state authorities seized the property and transferred it to the Confederate Army. For a short time it was used to mint Confederate currency and to house Confederate troops. This ended when New Orleans was occupied by federal forces. Following the Civil War, during the period of Reconstruction, minting of U.S. coins resumed. It became non-functional in 1909. 

So, what does this post have to do with too much time? Our shuttle dropped us off at 10 and picked us up at 6. We were in the French Quarter for 8 hours and we were done seeing what we wanted to see after 3. We ate lunch at NOLA and people watched from outside Jax Brewery. Did you know that too much time was taken for the Civil War too? General McClellan on the Union side was given the plans General Lee had for battle. He did nothing with them. He made no decisions so many times. We have made a decision...no more visiting New Orleans...been there, done that!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


One of the staples for the men fighting in the Civil War was hardtack. I learned that this week and I also learned what it was...crackers. Now when we have our crackers and cheese in the afternoon on our trip, we think of those soldiers and continue to thank them for what they did. Tomorrow we leave for New Orleans. General Beauregard's house and The Old Confederate Mint are on the agenda.Since we love Emeril, we'll eat at Nola's. What a fun time.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Going Back In Time

Thinking about time travel today...if we went back to Civil War days, could we make it miles by foot and horse?  We are so soft by RV and towing a car! Our biggest battle is fighting off the love bugs!  Tomorrow is Mother's Day...I wonder how often the soldiers thought about their mother's while they were shooting at someone's son? Brothers were killing brothers. War is hell...we're so glad we are united. Even for tax purposes, we would not denounce our citizenship.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Sound of Bullets

I was thinking yesterday of how stressful it must have been for the men during the war to listen to the constant barrage of bullets and cannonballs. It helped me put into perspective the sounds of the MRI through which I was undergoing.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gone With the Wind

The past few days have flown by. I realize now that everything I knew about the Civil War was through Rhett, Scarlett and Ashley! Ken Burns' PBS series sheds a whole different light on it. I am overwhelmed by the inhumanities of man. Frankly my dear, I DO give a damn!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

5 More Days

Yesterday the rig was washed and waxed so she's all ready to head to the Ortona Locks for a three day rest before we start out on our 5,000 mile adventure. I wonder what we'll learn today from our second DVD?

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Six More Days, But Who's Counting?

Day 6 and counting down. We began watching the DVD's by Ken Burns (PBS)today. We will do one a day until the day we leave...there are six, how perfect is that? Did they teach us about the Civil War in school? History was so boring back then but now it's very interesting; however,I can't remember half of what I hear! Back in the day, I could but didn't want to...they need to change the way history is taught so we aren't history drop outs during our teenage years! I can still remember my grades in history. My grade matched the initial of my married name...oh my!

Friday, May 4, 2012


This is my first attempt at blogging thanks to Ronda's Rants! Only a week until the Phaeton takes us on an adventure where the war of all wars was fought. 600,000 men gave their lives for our freedom. As they say, "Freedom isn't free."