We woke up on the wooded fields of Chickamauga and experienced a fantastic battle tour led by a park ranger. He spoke of the heartache local families experienced when the battle ravaged their fields and homes. One Confederate soldier returned home a few days after the battle ended to see his fields covered in dead bodies, his house burned and wife and children living in a nearby ravine. What is interesting is that this soldier ened up leaving the CSA and took an oath with Union so he could return home and care for his family. Students and teachers from last year’s trip noticed a theme where battlefields are interpreting much more than the fighting. These stories raised interesting discussions on loyalty and why soldiers fought in this war.
Truly awesome was locating the area where Mr. Jon Parsons’ relative was taken captive by Confederates at Chickamauga. A pic (above) shows the group and Jon at the 21st Wisconsin memorial. We will read his relative’s memoir about prison life at Andersonville while visiting that site in a few days. So while we picked up a new soldier to follow, we said farewell to another…
We stopped briefly at Reseca, Georgia which is where Barton Mitchell, one of last summer’s union soldiers we followed, left the army for good. We spent Memorial Day last year at his grave in Hartsville, Indiana. We even spoke to one of his descendants. He was wounded at Antietam, charged with a cane at Gettysburg and was sent West in 1864. Near Reseca he was mustered out of service and returned to Indiana. Goodbye, Barton.
Once in Atlanta we sat in Ebenezer Baptist Church and listened to a recording of a sermon given by Martin Luther King at the pulpit. He spoke of Heartache and making decisions to relieve that heartache. Much like the Confederate who deserted the South to help his family.
Finally, we visited Stone Mountain and our camp ground on the lawn of the Confederacy’s Vice President. Below are a few pictures and I apologize for the post as I am writing it on my phone without Wifi. The boys want to blog and dig into what we are seeing. That will come soon.
Tomorrow we head to charleston and our guide there, Mr. Joe McGill.