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My 2 week road trip to the Retreat from Gettysburg 2017.

Discussion in 'The Civil War Traveler's Companion' started by rebel brit, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. rebel brit

    rebel brit Sergeant

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    Came across this statue of 'Old Joe' in the town square.
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    Our original intention of spending 4 weeks visiting battlefields in the Southern states changed when we heard about the Retreat from Gettysburg get together.
    As our flights were already booked from the U.K to Atlanta we decided to visit as many sites in the 2 weeks before getting to Gettysburg as we could, spending a week in Gettysburg before using our last week driving back to Atlanta.
    Here's a day by day account of what we achieved.
    Day 1 ... After landing at Atlanta in the late afternoon we collected our hire car and drove North for roughly an hour to Gainesville GA ( the post war home of General Longstreet ).


    The lease and state law make it difficult for anyone to legally remove the Confederate statue — as does the ghost of Helen Dortch Longstreet.

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    Helen Dortch Longstreet - photo by Times file
    “As long as my heart continues to beat, I will defend the legal and moral right of the Longstreet Chapter U.D.C. to hold the Confederate Monument on the public square of Gainesville under a 99-year lease, dating from date of erection of the Monument,” Helen Longstreet wrote in a 1953 letter to the Gainesville News.

    But it’s what came next in her letter that matters now.

    “After I am dead, my released spirit will come back to stand guard beside the heroic figure in Gainesville’s square and say to all coming betrayers of a people’s honor, ‘You shall not pass!’” .
    More to follow .
    Cheers Ken.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 3, 2017

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  3. bdtex

    bdtex Brigadier General Moderator

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    Sweet. This thread could take awhile. :D
     
  4. rebel brit

    rebel brit Sergeant

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    Day 2...
    As it was our first visit to Gainesville and not being sure how much time we would need , we made an early start by visiting the Alta Vista cemetery first as it was open dawn til dusk.
    We also planned to visit the Piedmont Hotel and Longstreet's statue , hopefully all this before 2pm so that we could make a five hour drive over to Charleston SC.:frantic:
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  5. rebel brit

    rebel brit Sergeant

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    Day 2 cont...

    We arrived at the Piedmont Hotel and were met by Richard Pilcher, a member of the Longstreet Society whose headquarters are based there.
    Richard, who with his knowledge of Longstreet and history of the hotel was a mine of information and made our visit so interesting we're already looking forward to going back again.

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    Piedmont Hotel as it was.
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  6. rebel brit

    rebel brit Sergeant

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    Day 2 ... cont
    Piedmont Hotel
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  7. rebel brit

    rebel brit Sergeant

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    And yes I took a souvenir :smile:
     
  8. dlavin

    dlavin First Sergeant

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    I cant wait to read more. Cant wait to hear all about this trip of a lifetime! Drove you two from the 1863 to Lee monument for the Wright Tour...wished I had more time to discuss your trip...
     
  9. rebel brit

    rebel brit Sergeant

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    Hi David, yes we remember and many thanks again . Still smile when I think about where Ted Turner got shot. :D
    Next time we meet we'll drive.:thumbsup:
    Ken
     
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  10. rebel brit

    rebel brit Sergeant

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    Day 2 ... cont
    Longstreet's Statue.
    The Longstreet statue is erected on the spot where he owned and farmed a 160 acre plot.
    When we mentioned to Richard that we were going to the Longstreet statue he kindly offered to drive ahead so that we could follow.
    Again this was made more interesting by him telling us the following story/fact. I apologize in advance if I don't have the full story but the gist of it is this - ' the reenactor who posed for the sculptor thought he would have his own private joke and wore two Virginia buttons on the back of his coat, so that it could be said Virginia would be always following on his coat tails.'
    I did check and yes there are two Virginia buttons but unfortunately the close up pic I took of them didn't turn out.
    I'm sure the many Longstreet supporters will correct me if I'm wrong :help:, but if not , there's your reason to visit Gainesville to find out the truth for yourselves. :wink:

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    Left Gainesville at approx 3pm and on the way to Charleston called to see the Double-Barrelled Cannon at Athens.
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    Arrived in Charleston SC . End of Day 2
     
  11. JOHN42768

    JOHN42768 2nd Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    Very nice photos, thanks for posting
     
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  12. donna

    donna Brev. Brig. Gen'l Forum Host

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    Wonderful photos.
     
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  13. christian soldier

    christian soldier Sergeant

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    Thanks for allowing the forum to be apart of your vacation. Beautiful photographs. Nice weather so far. David.
     
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  14. reading48

    reading48 Captain

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    Nice Pics looks like you had a good time....I have relatives that live in the Corby area ....every time my one Uncle came over to visit he always wanted to get in at least 3 days at G/B...Cheers...
     
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  15. rebel brit

    rebel brit Sergeant

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    Many thanks everyone for the comments and likes, much appreciated.
    David I think we were extremely lucky considering we landed 2 days after Hurricane Irma was downgraded I really don't remember us getting rained on.
    In regard to the photography, I've been forced to write that all credit is due to the wife Gill.:whistling:
    Ken
     
  16. mofederal

    mofederal 2nd Lieutenant Member of the Month

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    Thank you for the great pictures and text. I enjoyed it immensely. It does sound like you had a great trip!
     
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  17. WJC

    WJC 1st Lieutenant

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    Thanks for posting. I look forward to seeing more on what must have been a very full and rewarding trip....
     
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  18. rebel brit

    rebel brit Sergeant

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    Day 3 ...

    Went to catch the ferry to Ft Sumter only to find that due to hurricane Irma the boat dock had been damaged and there would be no sailing that day. As I couldn't swim that far we decided to have a chill out day strolling around Charleston instead.
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    First stop was to the Daughters of the Confederacy Museum on Meeting St where I was amazed to see how many original civil war items could be crammed into one building. Loved it !! So if you haven't been there, make sure to put it on your bucket list.
    The only drawback was , no photography was allowed.

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    St Michaels Church is where George Washington in 1791 and Robert. E. Lee some seventy years later both worshipped.
    ( Pew 43 to be exact )
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    The Confederate Defenders Statue on the Battery over looking the harbour.

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    The Old Slave Mart in the French Quarter .

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    There's so much more to do in Charleston, but as we had already done a lot on a previous trip we opted for visiting the Market , strolling around the French Quarter admiring the antebellum homes before heading back to our hotel for a well deserved sleep.
     
  19. Eleanor Rose

    Eleanor Rose Sergeant Major

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    Great thread @rebel brit! Thank you for sharing! As a General Longstreet supporter (probably qualify as a fanatic), I really enjoyed your Gainesville pics. I had the pleasure of meeting Richard Pilcher when I visited the Piedmont Hotel. He was a treasure trove of information on all things Longstreet. Check out my thread, https://civilwartalk.com/threads/general-longstreets-gainesville.133747/#post-1522611 when you get a chance. I'm sure we both saw (and heard) a lot of the same things. Please keep sharing your trip!!!
     
  20. rebel brit

    rebel brit Sergeant

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    Day 4 ...

    We always try to estimate how far we can travel next day ( including stop offs, sight seeing and battlefields etc ) so that we can book our hotel in advance, thereby having something to aim for. Most times it's like a military operation with precision timing so that we don't arrive at battlefields when they're closing......... then again sometimes we screw up.:rolleyes:
    This was the logic in going from Charleston to Lumberton N.C via Ft Moultrie, up the coast road taking in Myrtle Beach , Ft Fisher then across to Lumberton. Total driving time 4.5 hrs.

    This was our first visit to Ft Moultrie and must say I was pleasantly surprised , more there than I thought there would be.
    A great place to visit.

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    Was surprised to find the famous Seminole leader Osceola's grave just outside the entrance to the Fort.
    Always great to come across something unexpected.

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    Looking across the harbour from the fort you can see Ft Sumter in the distance. (Unfortunately the nearest we got to it.:thumbsdown:

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    Next stop Myrtle Beach...... unfortunately we spent too much time there and realized it would be too late to go to Ft Fisher so ended up going straight to our hotel in Lumberton.
    We made up for it though the next day. :cannon::cannon::cannon:
     
  21. rebel brit

    rebel brit Sergeant

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    Eleanor Rose , it was your thread that gave us the idea to visit Gainesville, we really enjoyed it. Many thanks.
     

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