Ami's SOA Touring Virginia - On the trails of ANV and AOTP

luinrina

2nd Lieutenant
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Jul 30, 2018
Location
Germany
I had to remark concerning the Arlington Cemetery, that I was led to believe Longstreet lost his children in 1863. Can someone please clarify??
"Only" three of his children died in Richmond during the war. Others survived to adulthood - and two of them are in Arlington.

I had fooled myself into believing the second day was spent with the Union in the fishhook, and continue to get mixed up when farmsteads are mentioned, such as Trostle's.
I was all over the battlefield on Tuesday, not only on the fishhook. I'm getting mixed up with the farms too all the time. Before writing the report, I had to look them up on the map to not sound like a dunce. :rolleyes:

So is Friday to come or have I misunderstood the verbal tense?
Thursday in Alexandria is coming. My schedule just got blown apart by a delayed flight out of Washington thanks to the thunderstorm and missed and delayed trains home. I was already about to start writing the report, but then got distracted with phone calls with family and Ami's SOA in front of my thread. :wub: It just takes a while longer. Should be up today. :smile:

it's probably too late to mention or suggest this, but in Alexandria you should forget Lee's House (not open to the public anyway) and go instead to Ft. Ward: https://civilwartalk.com/threads/fort-ward-alexandria-virginia.103860/#post-946218
Too late by the time you posted this but I saw the thread when it was bumped. :smile: And I had time to spare... :D
 

luinrina

2nd Lieutenant
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Jul 30, 2018
Location
Germany
Thursday, day of departure. :cry:

After finishing packing, I had some time to spare. My Potomac cruise was at 11:30 a.m. and visiting Lee's boyhood home wouldn't take too long. James N. 's Fort Ward thread was bumped in a timely manner so I decided to add that to my day's itinerary, but I read online that the park opened only at 9 a.m. and I was done packing at 7:30. Half an hour sitting in the hotel room got me antsy. Sitting still just isn't my thing. So I headed out earlier and good thing too for the park was already open. So much for opening hours on the internet. :cautious:

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I then headed to old historic downtown Alexandria. I bought my cruise ticket and then headed to Lee's boyhood home.

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Across the street is the Lee-Fendal House which belonged to the extended Lee family. As it was just 10:15 and I had nothing else to do so I took a tour of the house. The guide told us that Lee's boyhood home is up for sale again: https://civilwartalk.com/threads/robert-e-lees-boyhood-home-in-alexandria-for-sale.159884/

The corner where both the Lee-Fendal house and Lee's boyhood home stand is known as Lee Corner since many houses along both streets were built and lived in by members of the Lee family. Lee's father, Light-horse Harry Lee, purchased tracts of land in 1784 and sold a tract to Philip Richard Fendal I, Esq. who built the Lee-Fendal House for his second wife, Elizabeth Steptoe Lee. When Lee grew up in Alexandria, Fendal's third wife, Mary "Mollie" Lee, who was a sister to Light-Horse Harry Lee and thus an aunt of Robert E. Lee, lived in the Lee-Fendal House with her children so they believe Lee would have visited from time to time. From 1863-1865 the house served as Union hospital. Members of the Lee family continued to live in the house until 1902, then it was sold to a different family. It was in use as private residence until 1974 when it was bought by the Virginia Trust for Historic Preservation and became a historic house museum.

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Entrance hall
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Dining room
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Parlor
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Master bedroom
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After touring the house, I took my Potomac cruise. I was still too keyed up and excited on the trip up to Georgetown, but on the return trip to Alexandria I just sat and watched and listened - and became drowsy. Not a good thing when I still had Washington traffic to navigate! :laugh:

Lincoln Memorial as seen from the river
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Georgetown and the Francis Scott Key Bridge
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Glimpse of Arlington House
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And then it was already about time to head toward the airport. On my way there I stopped at Chantilly which I couldn't do on my arrival day as my flight was delayed and customs took ages to get through.

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The quartz stone shows where General Stevens fell, more or less right next to the monuments.
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This marker shows a small box in the middle of the battlefield - which is all that remains of Chantilly. The rest is built over.
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When I left Chantilly for the airport, it started raining. The thunderstorm delayed my flight: First, the plane in couldn't land, then they couldn't fuel the plane due to lightning and danger of fire, and finally we sat in front of the runway without moving for 30-40 minutes without information as to why we weren't moving. :cautious: It wasn't raining anymore and no lightning to be seen, though. No idea what held up our take-off. What I do know, though, because of the delay in flying out, I missed my booked train from the airport and the one I eventually caught - two hours later - was also delayed and full. *sigh* Joy to be home again and riding with the Deutsche Bahn...
 

luinrina

2nd Lieutenant
Silver Patron
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Location
Germany
And finally some statistics:

In 21 days travel time (including departure day, excluding arrival day) I visited
  • 27 battlefields
  • 8 cemeteries - 3 of them national cemeteries
  • 6 historic houses with guided tours
  • 15 points of interest (e.g. historic houses without guided tours, museums, etc.)
and for that
  • drove 1,260 miles (including battlefield roads)
  • hiked/walked approx. 60 miles
  • and took 1,890 pictures (though quite a few are of markers or other interesting tidbit that might or might not result in trivia questions :wink:). @bdtex told me to take lots of pictures. I suppose I fulfilled that requirement? :D
Mhm, looks like a fairly successful trip, me thinks. :D
 

Seduzal

Major
Retired Moderator
Joined
Jun 19, 2013
Location
Canton, North Carolina
And finally some statistics:

In 21 days travel time (including departure day, excluding arrival day) I visited
  • 27 battlefields
  • 8 cemeteries - 3 of them national cemeteries
  • 6 historic houses with guided tours
  • 15 points of interest (e.g. historic houses without guided tours, museums, etc.)
and for that
  • drove 1,260 miles (including battlefield roads)
  • hiked/walked approx. 60 miles
  • and took 1,890 pictures (though quite a few are of markers or other interesting tidbit that might or might not result in trivia questions :wink:). @bdtex told me to take lots of pictures. I suppose I fulfilled that requirement? :D
Mhm, looks like a fairly successful trip, me thinks. :D



Thank you for your incredible journey of 21 days. These memories will last a life time and will never end. Part of your memories of your journey that you will remember over time that you can truly say that you have walked on ‘Hallowed Ground’...
 

bdtex

Major General
★★ Sr. Moderator
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Annual Winner
Regtl. Quartermaster Chickamauga 2018 Vicksburg 2019
Joined
Jul 21, 2015
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Texas
And finally some statistics:

In 21 days travel time (including departure day, excluding arrival day) I visited
  • 27 battlefields
  • 8 cemeteries - 3 of them national cemeteries
  • 6 historic houses with guided tours
  • 15 points of interest (e.g. historic houses without guided tours, museums, etc.)
and for that
  • drove 1,260 miles (including battlefield roads)
  • hiked/walked approx. 60 miles
  • and took 1,890 pictures (though quite a few are of markers or other interesting tidbit that might or might not result in trivia questions :wink:). @bdtex told me to take lots of pictures. I suppose I fulfilled that requirement? :D
Mhm, looks like a fairly successful trip, me thinks. :D
I am impressed, even at just the length of your campaign. 9 days is the most I have been able to put together on one march so far. Most of my "long" trips are 5-6 days at most but I don't have to cross an ocean to get there.:smile:
 

James N.

Colonel
Forum Host
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Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
Feb 23, 2013
Location
East Texas
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… Too late by the time you posted this but I saw the thread when it was bumped. :smile: And I had time to spare... :D
I'm glad you had time to visit Fort Ward, the best-preserved of all the D.C. forts, but hope you made it inside the museum as well to see the Francis Lord collection of Union enlisted men's equipment, etc. I wish I'd had more time when I visited Alexandria because it's such a historic town filled with Colonial and Revolutionary associations; the one I'd most like to have visited is the estate above I only photographed from outside. I forget it's name, but it served in 1755 as headquarters for British General Edward Braddock who began his ill-fated campaign against the French and Indians at Fort Duquesne (modern-day Pittsburgh, PA) from Alexandria.
 

luinrina

2nd Lieutenant
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Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Location
Germany
hope you made it inside the museum as well to see the Francis Lord collection of Union enlisted men's equipment, etc.
No, I didn't get into the Fort Ward museum. It opened on 10 a.m. - by that time I was already in Alexandria downtown.

Your house would be the John Carlyle house, built in 1753 by merchant and city founder John Carlyle.

I honestly didn't really prepare for Alexandria as much as for the other sites I visited as I was undecided what I wanted to do on Thursday morning until about the day before. I had either Mount Vernon or Alexandria as possibilities on my agenda. Alexandria made the cut because I wanted to take the cruise, and I think I'd need an entire day for Mount Vernon. Next time I get to the area, I'll be spending a day in Alexandria and really explore the town. :smile:
 

Lubliner

Captain
Forum Host
Joined
Nov 27, 2018
Location
Chattanooga, Tennessee
And finally some statistics:

In 21 days travel time (including departure day, excluding arrival day) I visited
  • 27 battlefields
  • 8 cemeteries - 3 of them national cemeteries
  • 6 historic houses with guided tours
  • 15 points of interest (e.g. historic houses without guided tours, museums, etc.)
and for that
  • drove 1,260 miles (including battlefield roads)
  • hiked/walked approx. 60 miles
  • and took 1,890 pictures (though quite a few are of markers or other interesting tidbit that might or might not result in trivia questions :wink:). @bdtex told me to take lots of pictures. I suppose I fulfilled that requirement? :D
Mhm, looks like a fairly successful trip, me thinks. :D
Add 3 books bought and probably read during your hours of waiting. Hope the gifts are appreciated on whom they are bestowed.
I am so happy this whole event happened for me in real time. I can't express what it meant to have missed it, even with the afterthought of reading it later. It just could not be the same. I hope the Army of Tennessee understands.
Really looking forward to Vicksburg, but full of the 'whethers'.
Thank you for your time.
Lubliner.
 

luinrina

2nd Lieutenant
Silver Patron
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Location
Germany
Add 3 books bought and probably read during your hours of waiting. Hope the gifts are appreciated on whom they are bestowed.
Make that 7 books, and the recipient is the buyer - me. :D And I did start one of the books (The Journal of Agnes Lee - Growing up in the 1850s) at the hotel on Thursday and read some more of it during the flight.
 

infomanpa

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Location
Pennsylvania
And finally some statistics:

In 21 days travel time (including departure day, excluding arrival day) I visited
  • 27 battlefields
  • 8 cemeteries - 3 of them national cemeteries
  • 6 historic houses with guided tours
  • 15 points of interest (e.g. historic houses without guided tours, museums, etc.)
Amazing. Most of us on this forum who live in this country will probably never visit all the sites that you have. I have to admit that I might have trouble sustaining my interest while doing 21 straight days of battlefields.
 

vmicraig

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Location
Mobile, AL
Today I toured Lexington.

As a VMI alum and Rockbridge County homeowner, I’m sorry you had a cadet guide who wasn’t particularly “up” on his history - unfortunately, the cadets who give tours are often students who simply enjoy interacting with others, and not necessarily history majors. Much of the info they discuss is less based on actual fact and more based on tales that have simply been passed down through the ranks for years, changing bit by bit every passing year until it barely resembles the truth and they get called out on it by an astute visitor. Too little supervision and training by the Institute to act as actual docents, they do their best as college kids giving campus tours. It is what it is, so take every “fact” they tell you with a grain of salt!

BTW, The cannon balls you missed were on the backside of barracks about 3 floors up, viewable from the ground. I’ve actually posted pics of them before on the forum.

As with the others, I’m enjoying your posts immensely. You are on a Civil War adventure that many of us have only dreamed of.
 

luinrina

2nd Lieutenant
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Jul 30, 2018
Location
Germany
I’m enjoying your posts immensely. You are on a Civil War adventure that many of us have only dreamed of.
Thank you! I'm glad you enjoy my tour and report. It's unfortunately already over. :frown:

I’m sorry you had a cadet guide who wasn’t particularly “up” on his history - unfortunately, the cadets who give tours are often students who simply enjoy interacting with others, and not necessarily history majors.
No worries and no need to feel sorry. I reckon that not everyone can be firm with Civil War history as it is not only a specific period of history but a broad subject too. The young man said he was in engineering and hoped to be commissioned to become an army engineer, so I figured history is not his necessarily his strongest point or interest. I knew enough to know what he was talking about and to notice his mistakes, and a teeny-tiny part of me enjoyed knowing more about VMI's history during the Civil War than a VMI cadet. :tongue: Had anyone wanted to take a tour of my school, I wouldn't have been able to keep its history straight either so *shrugs*. I still enjoyed the tour for even if he lacked detailed knowledge on what interested me, he quite professionally presented the tour overall. :smile:

Also, I suppose not everyone taking these cadet tours would be doing so just for the Civil War history. For instance, we had two families with us whose sons were interested in going to VMI. They of course were more interested in the classes, professional outlook, etc. The cadet stayed with them after the end of the tour to answer their questions, and I liked him for doing that.

In addition, he told us that no one but cadets were allowed in the barracks, yet he took us with him through Washington Arch into the courtyard after looking around if anyone saw, then gesturing at us to follow him. "Come on, come through. You're with me, that's okay." :D

BTW, The cannon balls you missed were on the backside of barracks about 3 floors up, viewable from the ground. I’ve actually posted pics of them before on the forum.
I walked to the backside past Washington Arch and looked up the walls both on the side and backside from the street but never saw anything. I tried getting around the old barracks to see more of the backside, walked between houses through some sort of tunnel to a courtyard, but even there didn't see anything. Not sure if I was just blind, my sunglasses blinding me or the construction going on around the houses blocking the sight. We'll have to meet up next time I head to Lexington and you can then show me. :smile:
 

vmicraig

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 12, 2018
Location
Mobile, AL
I walked to the backside past Washington Arch and looked up the walls both on the side and backside from the street but never saw anything. I tried getting around the old barracks to see more of the backside, walked between houses through some sort of tunnel to a courtyard, but even there didn't see anything. Not sure if I was just blind, my sunglasses blinding me or the construction going on around the houses blocking the sight. We'll have to meet up next time I head to Lexington and you can then show me. :smile:

Here's a link with a photo (albeit sideways)

https://civilwartalk.com/threads/embedded-cannon-balls.151002/
 

luinrina

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Jul 30, 2018
Location
Germany
Followed some of your trip through ACW history. Wish I had known you were planning to climb Loudon Heights. I could have took you in at the top from the south at Va/WV line. Down hill from there.
Thanks! Though I'm a bit lost where exactly you would have taken me in.

I wanted to hike both Maryland and Loudoun Heights when organizing this trip, but I was skeptic about where to fit it into my Harpers Ferry schedule, especially when I saw online how much time to allot for both hikes. It was therefore a more or less spontaneous decision to hike it that afternoon after South Mountain. To have time for Loudoun Heights, I dropped the visit to Shepherdstown I had planned for that day, figuring it's enough to drive through Shepherdstown on my way to Antietam the next morning. :laugh: But as noted by others, I missed Kyd Douglas' house, etc. because of that change in plans.
 

Stone in the wall

2nd Lieutenant
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
Joined
Sep 19, 2017
Location
Blue Ridge Mountains, Jefferson County WV
Thanks! Though I'm a bit lost where exactly you would have taken me in.

I wanted to hike both Maryland and Loudoun Heights when organizing this trip, but I was skeptic about where to fit it into my Harpers Ferry schedule, especially when I saw online how much time to allot for both hikes. It was therefore a more or less spontaneous decision to hike it that afternoon after South Mountain. To have time for Loudoun Heights, I dropped the visit to Shepherdstown I had planned for that day, figuring it's enough to drive through Shepherdstown on my way to Antietam the next morning. :laugh: But as noted by others, I missed Kyd Douglas' house, etc. because of that change in plans.
Appalachian trial crosses route #9 at state line (Keys Gap) and runs into Loudon Heights trails.
 
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