Civil War Interactive Discussion Board Home
Home Search search Menu menu Not logged in - Login | Register


First Battlefield Visit - Other Civil War Talk - Civil War Talk - Civil War Interactive Discussion Board
 Moderated by: javal1 Page:  First Page Previous Page  1  2  3  4  5  Next Page Last Page  
 New Topic   Reply   Printer Friendly 
 Rate Topic 
AuthorPost
 Posted: Wed Feb 13th, 2008 11:34 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
41st Post
Doc C
Member


Joined: Sun Oct 1st, 2006
Location:  Eastern Shore, Maryland USA
Posts: 822
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

You're right RY, the 11th stayed at cemetery hill, mia culpa. Have Sears and have read it, good writer. Really don't have much of a problem with the written test (have taken numerous medical board exams which as Dr. John would liken to say will cut you another a-- hole to spill your chitlins out of). The one that is probably the toughest is the actual quided tour test with other GLBG's and NPS individuals.

Doc C



 Posted: Wed Feb 13th, 2008 11:37 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
42nd Post
Doc C
Member


Joined: Sun Oct 1st, 2006
Location:  Eastern Shore, Maryland USA
Posts: 822
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Terry Jone's book on Lee's Tigers and another one of his on Cemetery Hill are excellent works. Jone's is a history prof. at LSU-Monroe.

Doc C



 Posted: Wed Feb 13th, 2008 11:49 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
43rd Post
Rebel Yell
Belle,Bourbon,Battlefields


Joined: Sat Feb 9th, 2008
Location: Maryland USA
Posts: 105
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Hi Doc...I want to wish you good luck on the guide test. I was considering taking it this year, but unfortunately I had to move back north from Maryland because of family illness. I have heard that the "tour test" can be tough. To prepare for it, I "forced" friends to act as visitors and I gave them my "guided tours". Afterwards we would go to O'Rorkes where we would drink beer and they would critique my performance. I found that to be quite helpful. Also, Gary Kross' "Gettysburg Vignettes" in Blue & Gray were extremely useful.



 Posted: Wed Feb 13th, 2008 11:55 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
44th Post
PvtClewell
Member


Joined: Wed Jun 13th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 420
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

RY,

I've taken battlefield tours with Wayne Motts and Gary Kross (whose sister used to run the Doubleday Inn and now runs the Fairfield Inn) and both are excellent, but for my money, the best of the best LBG's is Charlie Fennell.

Some of the best NPS guys, I think, are Scott Hartwig, Troy Harman and Eric Campbell.



 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 12:06 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
45th Post
Doc C
Member


Joined: Sun Oct 1st, 2006
Location:  Eastern Shore, Maryland USA
Posts: 822
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Even though don't need a LBG, occassionally hire one just to sit around and shoot the sh-t. Aye, it's a grand time we have.

Doc C



 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 12:16 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
46th Post
Rebel Yell
Belle,Bourbon,Battlefields


Joined: Sat Feb 9th, 2008
Location: Maryland USA
Posts: 105
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Man, I miss G-burg already and it's only been a month...gonna have to have a battlefield fix....



 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 12:40 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
47th Post
Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Gettysburg didn't do it for me. Shiloh and Chickamauga though were positively stunning in comparison. The rampant commercialism hasn't invaded either place and they look very similar to how they looked when all hell was breaking loose.

Standing at the edge of Kelly field was both invigorating and sobering. It really isn't that big of a place. And walking to the top of Snodgrass hill, it's easy to understand the why & how Thomas became the Rock. And the tradition of American soldiers (taking or holding)saying "My Hill!"

I remember reading that one of Longstreets Colonels, a man who had been in the thick of it at Gettysburg, said: "Chickamauga made Gettysburg look like a church social." Of course my favorite: "What the hell kind of yanks are these; they don't break worth a damn!"

Shiloh... the size of it baffles me, so many men in an area so small, the Hornests nest, bloody pond and the peach orchard. All places I had read about but to walk them was to bring them to life... to the point that there is a set of letters in my Historical Society I cannot read. I've walked the ground the young man watched his battery get torn up on.

Vicksburg... I was reminded of a Bill Mauldin Willie & Joe cartoon. "My God we was down there and they was up here!" The NPS does a superb job w/ their Living Historians on site and the Park Rangers know their stuff. Even w/ what's left it's easy to see just how brutal that seige was.

All the battlefields I have visited gave me an appreciation of the soldiers maxim: Our job is to chase em till we ketch em then whup em till they run again.



 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 02:24 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
48th Post
Lincoln Fan
Member
 

Joined: Wed Feb 13th, 2008
Location: Mentor, Ohio USA
Posts: 31
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I've been reading the discussion board for around 18 months and have enjoyed reading all of your experiences on this topic so much that it moved me to register.

Around 20 years ago we vowed to visit as many battlefield as we could. To date we have been to 34 plus some other Civil War historic places like Springfield, Ill. Although my favorite is Chancellorsville, the first battlefield we visited was Gettysburg in 1991.

We packed more reference books and maps than clothing! We approached the town from Chambersburg as the south had. When we saw the first statue we jumped out of the car and from that point on we were totally hooked. We saw a sign that said "battlefield tour route", got out our General's Tour from the Blue and Gray, and were off. It took us several hours the first trip around the park, and all that in pouring rain. We spent three wonderful days. The two things I remember most were (1) the high-water mark and, (2) walking Pickett's Charge. I can't describe the emotions we felt as we crossed the field. While we were there, a small group of children and their teacher set out from Seminary Ridge with the stars and bars, giving their version of the rebel yell. When they arrived at the center of the field, however, they all knelt and prayed. That image will always remain with me.

We've been back to Gettysburg several times, on quiet weekends and for the big re-enactments in July, but it will never be the same as that first visit.

Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful experiences.

Jean



 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 02:35 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
49th Post
Lincoln Fan
Member
 

Joined: Wed Feb 13th, 2008
Location: Mentor, Ohio USA
Posts: 31
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

We did Jackson's Valley Campaign last October and if you go, be sure to visit VMI.  We happened to be there for parents weekend and witnessed a full dress parade.  The museum there is really great. 

Jean



You have chosen to ignore Bama46. click Here to view this post


 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 06:45 am
   PM  Quote  Reply 
51st Post
susansweet
Member


Joined: Sun Sep 4th, 2005
Location: California USA
Posts: 1420
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

I have been to many battlefields but the one I have returned to three times is Shiloh.  There is something that draws me there.  Bama I would love to arrive there by boat as you described it.  Mrs. Wallace coming to be with her husband.  The first time I was there was just as the park closed.  The rangers were walking out of the headquarters.  It was five o clock.  It had taken longer than I thought to get there.  The rangers gave me a map and said to go ahead and tour the field.  That I could stay til dark.  It was strange to be the only person on the field.  The shadows were deep in some places.  I was just learning about the war . 

I went back the next year and spend much more time there, this summer I was there again on the way home from the Muster in Franklin . 

Now that I have read Cunningham's book I want to go back again as I think I understand more what I am seeing. 

The other battlefield I have returned to is Wilson Creek.  Again both times I was the only one on the field most of the time.  I love that this battlefield does not have any monuments.  It looks much as it was at the time of the battle.  This is where I found a deer , Bama.  It was walking along the tour route minding it's own business, saw me and jumped into the woods next to the road and watched me as I drove by.

Susan



 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 12:47 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
52nd Post
Johan Steele
Life NRA,SUVCW # 48,Legion 352


Joined: Sat Dec 2nd, 2006
Location: South Of The North 40, Minnesota USA
Posts: 1065
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Bama... I used Swords work on Shiloh as my guide. Susan mentioned Cuninghams. Do you have a feel as to which is the better? Just curious.



 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 01:08 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
53rd Post
TimHoffman01
Member


Joined: Wed Nov 9th, 2005
Location: Mechanicsville, Virginia USA
Posts: 74
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

My favorite place to visit around here is Malvern Hill. Johan mentioned the commercialism of G-Burg, and I'd have to agree. Having tramped around Fredericsburg quite a while (lived there for 7 years) it sometimes gets downright depressing with the stores and roads and gridlock crowding out some of the sites (Salem Church comes to mind). Malvern Hill is still out in the boonies, and doesn't seem to be visited much. When I go there I can just sit down by a cannon, survey the field, and think. That one was my daughter's first field visit. Waay too young to even grasp the begining of its significance, but a good visit none the less. She still likes to go to the fields with Daddy.

I figure, if she likes walking the places, once she can really read, she'll learn something. When they hit it in school, they'll actually be able to say they've BEEN to some of the places they'll read about. I remember relating things like that in school myself. Then, my experiences were limited to Manassas, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Harper's Ferry. Been to more since. Knowing the look of the places gives reading about them a whole new dimension of understanding.



 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 01:55 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
54th Post
Fuller
E Pluribus Unum


Joined: Mon Oct 23rd, 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 248
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

First battlefield was Gettysburg in the summer of 83 (I think).  I was 6 and my family took a trip from Colorado over to Washington D.C. and Gettysburg.  I was young and it was a long trip in the mini van.  I do remember the feeling that surrounded the place and knowing lots of men died there.  I still need to study more about that battle.

The one I remember more is Vicksburg when I was around 13.  I was older and I was aware my gggrandpa had been there.  It had more of an impact on me.

I would like to take my family and visit these places now as an adult.



 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 02:29 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
55th Post
PvtClewell
Member


Joined: Wed Jun 13th, 2007
Location: North Carolina USA
Posts: 420
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

The thing to keep in mind about Gettysburg is that the battle was fought in and around an already existing town. Commercialism began almost the moment the firing stopped as battlefield visitors began to arrive to tour the scene. It was an opportunity for residents to make a buck, and it hasn't stopped since.

Today, G-burg is probably the most visited of the nation's Civil War battlefields, requiring the accompanying development like hotels, restaurants and gift shops. The field is also very accessible by interstate for day-trippers.

Because the town is nearly surrounded by NPS property, the city limits can never really expand, thus limiting its tax base. The only true corridor for growth is eastward on Rt. 30 toward York, which by necessity has become extremely commercial.

If you're going to a battlefield for solace and introspection, G-burg may not be the place to go. Antietam can still offer that, but the G-burg experience offers its own special qualities nevertheless.

The NPS can infuriate me at times, but one of the good things it's been doing lately is trying to get the field to look as it did in 1863 by placing powerlines underground, clear cutting non-historic woodlands and rebuilding historic fence lines. I applaud that effort.

If you go to G-burg, just keep in mind that the commercialism of the town is actually part of its history and lore. Books have been written about the commercialism. It is what it is.

Fredericksburg, I think, is basically the same way. Both these fields have no choice to be other than what they are.

(This message approved by the Gettysburg Chamber of Commerce) :)



 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 03:12 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
56th Post
ashbel
Member
 

Joined: Fri Jan 25th, 2008
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 165
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

What a great thread.  Thanks to all of you who have shared your battlefield visit experiences.  Now I don't think I am such a nut for wanting to walk battlefields by myself.  There is just something about being there on the field and seeing the things you have read about all of your life and thinking about what went through the minds of the soldiers who fought and died.

Maybe that is why Shiloh is probably my favorite battlefield.  Most of the year it is so quiet and serene.  I have walked it three times and learned something new each visit.  (except I don't like the ticks!) 

 



You have chosen to ignore Bama46. click Here to view this post


 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 04:07 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
58th Post
David White
Member


Joined: Tue Sep 6th, 2005
Location: Texas USA
Posts: 909
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Ashbel:

I did not work at Vicksburg when Ed was there, he had moved on to be the SE park historian when I was there. Although I spent many an hour looking at the USS Cairo artifacts stored in the maintenance shed there before they were put on display and the multitude of artifacts siezed from illegal artifact hunters captured in the park.

Yes, I did write the article for the newsletter you read.



 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 05:12 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
59th Post
ashbel
Member
 

Joined: Fri Jan 25th, 2008
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 165
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Excellent.  The Aggie in the land of Longhorns.

You are a candidate for the Ashbel Smith fan club.  Send me your address (through our website) and I will send you a copy of his biography.

Enjoy Ed's talk later this month.  Say hello to Dan for me.



 Posted: Thu Feb 14th, 2008 06:17 pm
   PM  Quote  Reply 
60th Post
susansweet
Member


Joined: Sun Sep 4th, 2005
Location: California USA
Posts: 1420
Status: 
Offline
Mana: 

  back to top

Bama it still would be exciting to come to Shiloh by boat either way up river or down.  While reading Cunningham's book for a book group this month one of the members told all of us his ancestor was killed during the fighting near the church.  He has never been to Shiloh .  He said reading the book helped him understand what it was like for the ancestor.  This was a Confederate ancestor.  Then while we were discussing the battle one of the others said her Union ancestor was there too.  Made the whole discussion very personal for all of us. 

Susan



 Current time is 09:17 amPage:  First Page Previous Page  1  2  3  4  5  Next Page Last Page  
Top




UltraBB 1.17 Copyright © 2007-2008 Data 1 Systems
Page processed in 0.4108 seconds (9% database + 91% PHP). 27 queries executed.