Tag Archives: Virginia

Camera: Yorktown

Our vacation of historic Virginia comes to an end with the end of the Revolutionary War. We visited historic Yorktown, tracing the path of the battle, then the surrender. We explored French earthworks and American redoubts and old cannon.

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If you happened to watch the History Channel’s Sons of Liberty, you would have seen them using the redoubts below near the culmination of the miniseries.IMG_1960

Below is the Moore house where the British and American officers determined the terms of surrender.

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The front parlor of the Moore House was where the meeting of surrender occurred.

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Pictured below is part of Surrender Field, where British troops relinquished their weapons to General Washington’s army. It’s a beautifully green area where a vital moment in our nation’s history occurred.

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Below is an actual cannon surrendered by the British at Surrender Field:

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Camera: Williamsburg

Williamsburg, Virginia, is a living historical site. Buildings have been reconstructed or built to be an authentic replica of the colonial-period Williamsburg. It is the original capital of Virginia, the original seat of the state government. Below, visitors gather outside the Capitol to hear a wonderful, live reading of the Declaration of Independence.

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Visitors can tour the beautiful Capitol building with a tour guide costumed in colonial clothing. The tour is totally worth your time!

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Government officials met here to debate and vote. The large chair in the center is the Governor’s seat.

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Below is the church of Williamsburg, Bruton Parish Church. Parishioners included George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Martha Custis (future wife of George Washington), and Patrick Henry. The building also served as a hospital during the Revolutionary War. It is one of America’s oldest churches, established in the early 17th century.

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The stone baptismal font was brought here from Jamestown around 1758. It is said to be the oldest Christian relic in the United States, as it was brought here from England.

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The Governor’s Palace:

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The Governor of Williamsburg decorated most of the first floor of his mansion with excessive weaponry. His goal was to instantly intimidate any and all visitors.

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A glimpse into the Governor’s Palace:

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Camera: Appomattox

One of our final stops in Virginia was Appomattox. Here, the Civil War formally ended. This place is beautiful and authentic, allowing visitors to get a clear glimpse of the profound events which took place here.

This is the McLean House, where General Robert E. Lee and General Ulysses S. Grant met to determine the terms of surrender.

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The historical meeting occurred in the parlor of the McLean house, with Robert E. Lee at the desk below:

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and Ulysses S. Grant sat at this desk:

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One of the terms of Lee’s surrender was to provide assistance for the Confederate soldiers returning to their homes. A printing press, such as the one below, was set up in the tavern. For each Confederate soldier, a parole slip was printed, and with that slip of paper, Confederate soldiers were able to return to their homes unmolested.

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Below are some recovered parole slips:

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This cannon at Appomattox is the site of the last “official” shot of the Civil War:

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Brigadier General Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain received the Confederate surrender of arms. In a poignant display, Chamberlain and his troops saluted the Confederate soldiers as the filed past on the land below.

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Camera: Chancellorsville

The Battle of Chancellorsville is considered one of Robert E. Lee’s greatest victories in the Civil War. Confederate forces managed to flank the Union in a surprise attack which is frighteningly portrayer in the film “Gods and Generals”. Unfortunately for the Confederates, General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was mortally wounded in the dark by his own men.

Below is the battlefield of the first day of Chancellorsville:

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Below is the Catharine Furnace. It was the proprietor of this location who told General Jackson about a new forest road, which was then used to surprise the Union flank. To give you an idea of how much the land has changed since the Civil War, the furnace “chimney” below was on top of a small building; now the chimney is all you can see!

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Here is where Jackson’s troops attacked the Union flank. Union soldiers were camped out here, when a bunch of woodland creatures ran out of the forest. Those animals were closely followed by 30,000 Confederate soldiers, screaming the famous Rebel yell.

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This is the approximate location of Jackson’s wounding. He was returning to his men in the dark, and his lookouts thought he was a Union officer, as he was coming from that direction. He was taken to the guesthouse of Chandler plantation in Guinea Station, where he contracted pneumonia and died on May 10.

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This monument to General Jackson was later erected by the Confederate veterans near the site of Jackson’s wounding:

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All that remains of the Chandler Plantation is the guesthouse in which General Jackson died. It’s a beautiful area, but this was the saddest historic site I have visited. Upon entering the little house, I was overwhelmed by a weight of sadness. Everyone inside was very quiet, and it felt as though the house itself still mourned. It was quite a unique experience. The room in which Jackson died, still has the original bedframe, blanket, and clock.

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