Tennessee Trip Day Three/Four

Posted by Carmen Ledford on Wednesday May 16, 2012 Under Civil War Sites, Claire, Cobey, Homeschool, Kid's Corner, National Parks, Travel

We spent the majority of third day at Shiloh National Park.  There is not much to the visitor center but Junior Ranger program was good. We purchased the CD wfor the tour of the battlefield.  It was a little hard to follow because the stops  are  in a different order but we all learned a lot. One of the highlights was when we went on walking tour at the Shiloh Indian Mounds. We somehow got off the trail and started walking deeper and deeper into the woods. We were on a different  trail and sort of lost. Claire was our hero and lead us out of the woods. We saw the Hornet’s Nest, a densely wooded , named by the Confederates because of the stinging shots and shells they faced there. We saw where General Johnston died. He was shot and kept fighting not realizing how bad the wound in his leg was and he bleed to death. We ended our visit in the National Cemetery where the kids found tombstones of soldiers. We then drove to Nashville stopping at Logan’s to celebrate Cobey’s birthday!! It was a wonderful day.

The next day Bruce was suppose to fly out. He went down to the lobby to check-in to his flight and could not. We finally figured out that I had the wrong days and he was actually flying out the following day. Oops! It all worked out in the end. He had his laptop so he did some work for hotel that night and the next day.

On the fourth day, we added Stone’s River National Park to the schedule and I am so glad we did. It was my favorite National Park on the trip. It is a little strange because it is broken up by the town that has grown around it. There is a nice visitor center with a good video to give you background on the battle.  You have to drive to the different areas of the park.  The earthworks that remain of Fortress Rosecrans were interesting. This 200 acre fortress protected railroad and warehouse and supplies. The kids favorite part was Hell’s Half Acre, a rocky area where Union soldiers held their ground. You could easily see how they used the rocks for cover. Claire’s highlight would be her purchase of a Junior Ranger vest, hat and backpack that she now takes on all of our trips. The photo to the right is  Hell’s Half Acre and the bottom is Claire’s new outfit.

We left Stone’s River and headed to Hermitage,  home of Andrew Jackson. There was much more at this site than I excepted and we could have used more time. It is not just a house but a museum, gardens, and  outbuildings. We started with a movie that was an overview of his life then headed to the house. They had audio tours that were included in the price of admission. They had a great kids version from the viewpoint of Andrew’s pet parrot.  After a guided tour of the home, we toured the garden’s and saw his tomb. We then went and saw the slave quarters and other outbuildings.  I was impressed that they did not sugarcoat the past and told of  Jackson being a slave owner, ignoring the Constitution and marrying his wife while she was still married.  He was a great leader at the Battle of New Orleans but not so sure of his presidency. We are not big fans of Jackson but had a great visit and recommend the site. I would not try to do both in one day unless you start early and have lunch on the go.


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I never got around to posting about all my April trips. Now that I think about it, I have one from last April I still want to do.   Over Easter weekend, we headed to Tennessee to check out some Civil War and Indian sites. The first day we drove and drove and drove some more then we stayed at a hotel. The next morning we were up and out early. The first stop was the New Echota which is Northern Ga. This was the capital of the Cherokee Nation from 1825 until 1832. It was here that the Cherokee council met, that the Cherokee Supreme Court heard cases, and that the Cherokee Phoenix newspaper was first published.  The site has rebuilt  buildings to represent each of these and the house  of Samuel Worcester, a minister and loyal friend to the Cherokee nation. The Treaty of New Echota was  signed here which was the controversial document used by the American government to justify the removal now known as the Trail of Tears.

It was here that we began to learn that  we did not care for Andrew Jackson. The US Supreme Court ruled in Worcester v. Georgia,  that Georgia did not have the right to have passed those laws to force Cherokee out of the state.  However, President Andrew Jackson refused to enforce the Supreme Court’s decision in this case. This is a great historical site. We started with the movie and small visitor center. The kids loved trying to speak Cherokee and even bought a book.  We then spent an hour or so touring the buildings outside. There was a nature trail we missed because of the weather and time. We were off to Chickamauga Battlefield.                                                                                                                  

The Chickamauga Battle was one of the few where the Confederates outnumbered the Union. The confederates had a strong victory here and slowed the advance to Atlanta.  We went on the driving touring of the battlefield. The kids earned a Junior Ranger Badge here and then we headed to Lookout Mountain photo at top of this blog entry. They earned another badge there. The view was nice when you were not looking over the city. I am a little partial to my NC mountains when you are not looking at buildings and such. The highlight of the day for me was the 150th Anniversary Luminaries at Shiloh Battlefield. There was one for each solider that died at the battle and there was just so many. The photo below is around Bloody Pond. It was said that so many died here that the pond turned red. It was very moving experience. The kids enjoyed it at first but both ended up falling asleep and missing the last half of the drive. 



















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