Charlottesville 13 Days Later

On August 12, 2017, the “Unite the Right” rally, a white nationalist (supremacist) demonstration, was held in Emancipation Park (formerly named Lee Park)  in the city of Charlottesville, Virginia.  This tiny park is the site of a mounted statue of Robert E. Lee, a son of Virginia and the Southern general who commanded the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia in the Civil War from 1862 until 1865.  Early that morning, well before the scheduled start time of the demonstration, the white nationalists and a group of counter-protesters arrived at the park.  Violence broke out in the park and the adjoining street, culminating in a vehicular attack on a group of counter-protesters, in the narrow street enclosed by buildings on each side, that resulted in the death of one counter-protester and injury to at least 19 others. This story has been covered by many news outlets and is not covered further in this post.

On August 25, we drove through the city of Charlottesville and stopped to see the site for ourselves. A few dozen other people were also there, somberly viewing the park and the few short blocks that had seen so much violence.  The park was quiet and green, with a few benches where a very few people sat in the shade. The statue of General Lee on his horse was covered completely in black plastic. A few people walked into the park, looked at the large black object, took a few pictures, and left.

Statue of General Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park
Statue of General Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park
Roses on Statue of General Robert E. Lee
Roses on Statue of General Robert E. Lee

We walked down the street to the scene of the attack. The narrow street was completely blocked off at both ends by police barricades and squad cars.

A woman was being interviewed about the events near the top of the block. She was being careful not to step on the flower arrangements and hand-written signs laid on the sidewalk there.

About half way down the street, the floral tributes began to appear on the pavement, just where they were laid down as fresh bouquets, but now completely dried.

Floral Tributes
Floral Tributes
Floral Tributes
Floral Tributes
Floral Tributes
Floral Tributes
Floral Tributes
Floral Tributes

At the same place, the walls of the buildings were covered with tributes to the young woman who was killed, chalked on the wall as high as a person could reach, and covering the ground where flowers had not been left.

Tributes
Tributes
Tributes
Tributes

It seemed as if time had stopped. We and a few other people moved slowly down the street, read the tributes, observed the flowers, tried to capture with photographs what had happened less than two weeks before. After a few more minutes, we walked back up the street, got in our car, and continued on our journey.

 

 

 

(Ready Aim) FIRE!

This is our entry in The Daily Post Daily Prompt: Detonate.

Fort Macon State Park at Beaufort Inlet at the eastern end of Bogue Banks in North Carolina is a popular destination for vacationers. Garrisoned during the Civil War (by both sides in turn), the Spanish–American War, and World War II, it has a long (albeit non-continuous) military history. In addition to guided tours of the casemates restored to their original functions, tourists can view reinactments of the “Evening Gun” (loading and firing of a 19th Century cannon) and the loading and firing of a 19th Century musket of the type used by both North and South during the Civil War. The photo shows a demonstration of musket firing at the moment of detonation. (The ammunition used is a two-ply toilet paper Minié ball.)

LRM_EXPORT_20170529_163835
(Ready Aim) FIRE!

This photo was taken on May 29, 2017.  Specs are:

Canon 100D, ISO 100, f/5, 1/640 sec, 33 mm

Henry Hill (Manassas National Battlefield Park)

Henry Hill was the site of the first major battle of the Civil War, called the Battle of First Manassas by the South and First Bull Run by the North. Manassas was the local railroad station, and Bull Run is a nearby stream.

Field
Henry Hill battlefield

On July 21,1861, both sides converged on Henry Hill. On this day and hill, Confederate Brigadier General Barnard Bee rallied his men as he pointed to the newly-arrived General Thomas J. Jackson and shouted, “There stands Jackson like a stone wall!  Rally behind the Virginians!”

Union forces dragged ten-pounder Parrott guns (each weighing about 1800 pounds, with a maximum range of 1900 yards) up Henry Hill. In total, there were 24 cannon on Henry Hill that afternoon: 11 Union and 13 Confederate.

This land and the “Spring Hill” house were acquired by the Henry family in 1822. On this day of battle, widowed Judith Carter Henry, an 85 years old invalid, still lived here with her daughter and a leased slave.  Confederate snipers fired on Union soldiers from her bedroom window and were answered by a 10 pound shell from a  Union cannon about 60 yards away. Mortally wounded, Judith Henry was the first civilian casualty of the Civil War. She and her daughter and son (who died in 1888 and 1898, respectively) are buried in the Henry Family Cemetery in front of the reconstructed house. (The original house was decimated by souvenir hunters after this battle and then burned during the Battle of Second Manassas.)

The battle on Henry Hill continued until just after 4 p.m., when the Northern forces withdrew.

These photographs of Henry Hill were taken in April, 2016.

For more information about the Manassas National Battlefield Park in Virginia, visit the website at https://www.nps.gov/mana/index.htm.

Stone Bridge (Manassas National Battlefield Park)

The Stone Bridge, or the Fauquier and Alexandria Turnpike bridge over Bull Run, was important to both the Confederate and Union armies during the Civil War. The Union army fired the opening shots of the First Battle of Manassas over Stone Bridge, and later used this bridge in their retreat from the Second Battle of Manassas.

Bridge (c)
Stone Bridge

Built in 1825, blown up by the Confederate army in 1862, temporarily rebuilt in wood and destroyed again by the Union army in the same year, and fully rebuilt by 1884, the bridge remained in active use until the road was realigned in 1926. The reconstructed bridge maintains its historic appearance. Since 1959, the Stone Bridge has been managed by the National Park Service.

These photographs of and near the Stone Bridge were taken in April, 2016.

Fence
Split-rail fence
Logs
Logs
Fence with Flowers (c)
Buttercups among split rails

For more information about the Manassas National Battlefield Park in Virginia, visit the website at https://www.nps.gov/mana/index.htm.