I'm having a lot of fun with this - reading "Echos of Thunder" about the Seven Days Battles east of Richmond in 1862. Been there twice now and the first time completelely lost, the second time much better educated, and now reading this book designed for a battlefield walker makes me wanting to go back.
Since I'm at home though, I've googled up earth images of of all of the Seven Days campaign. You can zoom in on Beaver Dam Creek, Gaines Mill, Malvern Hill, etc. The only fuzzy image I found was a portion of White Oak Swamp. Every thing else is crystal clear. Using the book gives you guidance on where to turn and where to stop. It's a great precursor to your actual trip there. Road maps are ok but this beats everything. Check it out. Google Earth is an easy download.
I've spent many days playing with Google maps for that very purpose, although I concentrated on Franklin and Shiloh. Much fun! I understand that there's a way to make overlays that others can view. I have to check into how to do that. I always thought it would be cool to build a "group overlay" with other members here. Gonna keep researching it to see if it's possible. Have fun....
Another neat toy is the iPod and Podcasts. I found a couple of free Podcasts at the excellent Civil War Traveler website covering walking tours of Gaines' Mill and Malvern Hill Battlefields. Each is about 30 minutes in Length and cover a 1.5 mile hike around park property. You can download these to a program like iTunes, then load that onto your Pod and take it with you on your next visit. Also download the pdf map that is also available on the website and bring that along as well because the tour stops are unmarked.
Now, I've been to both of these sites and had a good time of it, but it helps to have someone like Robert Krick 'splain things to you that you might not have understood the first time around.
Malvern Hill is a little hard to find, but I managed it the other night by locating the twin chimneys of the Methodist Parsonage alongside the road. The picture is at least two years old though. There is a large group of trees that have been removed since the picture was taken. It provides unobscured view from the parsonage to the union line in front of the white farm house. The image isn't quite as good as that of Manassas. On Malvern's the guns only appear as blurry black dots. You can see the ones at manassas closer in. Still fun to show my kids the over head view of somewhere we had just been to.
I enjoyed walking down into the gully at Gaines Mill since it was a very hot day when I visited. Then, after huffing up the south wall of the steep gorge, to see what awaited the Rebels : another open field with Yankee artillery facing them, ready to blow them to smithereens. But, by sheer will practically, it was an eventual Rebel success, only to have to slog down to the larger killing fields of Frayser's Farm and Malvern Hill.
Art "Within The Sound of Richmond's Church Bells" B.
Last edited on Mon Feb 11th, 2008 12:00 am by ArtorBart