Manassas and Fredericksburg

August 7, 2011

On Saturday we decided that we would attend an early service in Gettysburg before heading off south. I checked out the options. The Lutheran church had an early service with no music. Another church had some kind of "contemporary" service, which I might could have endured, but Torrey and Joyce wanted no part of it. None of the other churches I found out about had early services, at least in August. So we went on our way, and as soon as I had navigated us to a main highway, I found the Gospel lesson for the day on the iPad and read it aloud. Then I lifted the iPad as if it were the Gospel book, and we responded, "Thanks be to God." Torrey and I then discussed the scripture while Joyce went to sleep. It reminded us of when we had been preachers. We headed toward Manassas.

So many of the Civil War battles go by two different names. I think southerners tend to call battles by town names and northerners use the names of bodies of water: Sharpsburg and Antietam, for one example; Manassas and Bull Run, for another. The latter sounds like it should be in Pamploma, Spain, but is really just a creek. Two battles a year apart took place here. Both were considered Confederate victories and were shocks to Union morale.

We did a rather thorough driving tour in an around Manassas, and then headed toward Fredericksburg. The battles there took place in and around the town itself. A stone wall, a sunken road, and a couple of antebellum houses are about all preserved right in the town. Below is the Innis House, which Martha Stephens lived in with one of her three common law husbands.

The house was occupied into the 1970s. When the Park Service took over and began restoration, they removed wood and walpaper and discoverd hundreds of bullet holes inside the house. The house is open only on special occasions, so I tried taking a picture through the window. You can see some of the bullet holes on the wall to the left.

Chancellorsville is just west of Fredericksburg, but we didn't try to go there. Instead we headed SSE. Stonewall Jackson was wounded at Chancellorsville by "friendly" fire and evacuated toward a main railroad junction. His arm was amputated, and he seemed out of danger. He was taken to an office building to recuperate. He died from complications of pneumonia eight days later.

We then proceded toward Richmond for a two-night stay.


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