View single post by Hellcat
 Posted: Tue Nov 15th, 2005 07:55 am
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Hellcat
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Joined: Tue Nov 15th, 2005
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Born December 1974, a little over a week before Christmas. So I'm in my early thirties. My mother's told me that I've been intrested in the war since I was real little though to be honest it wasn't until I was around 11 that I can remember getting intrested. So I guess I'll have to take her word for it.

Let's see, places I've visited. Well, I've been told that when I was real young we visited Appomatox and Durham Station, though my parents did pick up Catton's A Stillness at Appomatox there so I have that as proof (photos would personally be better since they could claim to have bought it there and actually purchased it at some bookstore somewhere else). I do know of four places for certain I've been. Fort Morgan, Berkeley Plantation, Petersburg, and Fredricksburg.

Fort Morgan I don't remember to well. All I really remember is an anchor and some masonry. That probably due to the fact that we were on vaction to the Gulf Shores area of Albama at the time and on that same day we either visited the USS Alabama or an aquarium in addition to visiting the fort. Maybe all three in one day. The Alabama and the Drum really left a big impression as did walking over a pool of lemon sharks and seeing a dolphin show on me when I was about seven or eight.

Berkeley Plantation and Petersburg were both part of another vacation when I was 11, the beginning and the end. What I remember the most about Berkeley Plantation was the gardens cause we really spent a lot of time out there. But there was a place in the main building itself where you could see where a cannonball was lodged into the building during the war. And you could visit the spot where Taps is supposed to have been written. But Petersburg sticks out even more. It was the last day of our vaction and as we were getting ready to leave the hotel I hit my head on the bathroom wall. Don't even remember what I did that caused it, wheter I slipped on a wet floor, got in a shoving match with one of my sisters, or tripped over something. At anyrate, I had a serious goose egg and we thought at first that it was even worse. So I kinda milked things a little. We probably would have stopped anyway, but since I was "injured" we stopped. I can remember seeing where there had been railroad mortars near the visitor center. But what I really got out of milking my injury was a chance to walk down into the crater with my mom while my dad and sisters drove down. We beat them too, as I recall. On the way out of the park there was an encampment where they explained what life during the seige was like for the Confederate soldiers.

Fredricksburg was a bit more recently, either '97 or '98. I'm a little fuzzy on the exact year and have to go grab some souviners from the Smithsonian museums to find out the year. My baby sister is in the navy and around that time was in A school in Dahlgren, Va. Flew down with my folks to visit her for three-four days. While there we hit the mall in DC then the following day we hit Fredricksburg. Biggest problem we had was trying to actually find the park. We'd found the visitor center no sweat and had checked out the displays. But then we took the car so as to visit the sunken road, the Kirkland memorial (which I was actually more intrested in finding after having read about him years before), and all that area. As I recall, at that time the sunken road was one way for car traffic, though I doubt it's changed if they're still letting cars go down it. We nearly got lost trying to find the entrance to the sunken road and almost gave up on that.

Beyond the places I've visited, I amassed a small collection of historic books on the war, but that's normal. My current prizes in my collection are reproductions of Union army manuals from Stackpole books. My dad's told me that in eighth grade my history teacher told both him and my mom that I actually knew more about the war than he did and at times when we were studying it he'd either turn the class over to me or would ask me if things he was teaching us were accurate. That's something I have a harder time believing than I was intrested in the war at a young age and we visited Appomatox and Durham Station. As a teenager, I'd think I'd have remembered if one of my teachers was actually turning a class over to me because I knew the subject better. I do remember that in eleventh grade we had to go more in depth on the war and at least half the class was asking me for help with the war because I did actually know more about it than our teachers then appeared to know. Though they weren't exactly history teachers (one was our english teacher and the other was more of an economics teacher, the actual history teacher for the 11th and 12 grades was primarily teaching on the 12th grade team and was not teaching us at the time as he was too buisy with the seniors) and they did pretty much set us loose without doing much in the way of teaching the subject.

What probably helped bring half class looking to me for help was that initially both the 11th and 12th grades would have one period a day during the regular class periods where we could take what amounted to a mixed elective. For whatever the reason this was dropped after the first half of the year, my guess was that we needed to focus on more grade specific subjects during the second half that we didn't have during the first half. At anyrate, the whole idea was that each of the teachers would teach a specific subject, history, creative writing, etc., each quarter and we had to sign up for each. So you'd get so many seniors and juniors in a class that was a bit smaller and more indepth. Second quarter I took the history course and for the final project of the course I did a pamphlet on the war, complete with a cardboard map of Sherman's March to the Sea then through the Carolinas. Got an A+ which wasn't easy to hide from the rest of the juniors since I had to turn it in late thanks to a computer crash and a very understanding teacher. Plus since all the rooms were open to everyone in the 11th and 12th grade, folks could easily see my map. So my already having done something on the war earlier in the year probably helped to cause folks to think of me as someone to ask for help.

Last edited on Tue Nov 15th, 2005 07:59 am by Hellcat

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