Saturday, May 5, 2007

Ball's Bluff

Another of the spots we wanted to see if time permitted was Ball's Bluff. We knew there wasn't too much to see there but that it was better than it used to be. This was the first visit for both Mike and I. I really liked the walking trail, there were a lot of good markers that helped explain the battle. The trail down to the river didn't really impress me as to the size of the bluffs. There were some other overlooks that did give some indication of the bluffs but the trail down to the river wasn't that steep or difficult. There is a small national cemetery there, believe it is the smallest national cemetery in the system. The ridges and gullies on the Union left did really impress me as far as how steep they were. That was by far the most difficult part of the hike, plus it was starting to warm up so Mike and I were really huffing by the time we finished (this would be the first day of the trip of what could be called shorts weather).

This picture shows the 8th Virginia marker. They formed on the edge of a field, so like most Civil War battlefields some sense of imagination is needed to picture the fight. The path on the right side of the picture is the direct route to the national cemetery and I believe is an old road trace dating to the battle.
This marker shows where Clinton Hatcher of the 8th Virginia died during the battle. Notice anything wrong with this picture?
That's right, someone put US flags at the marker. Certainly not a befitting tribute to a fallen Confederate.

This is where Colonel Edward Baker was killed, except from reading James Morgan's book on the battle, "A Little Short of Boats," we know that this is just one interpretation, that the site may not be right.

And here's a picture of the national cemetery as viewed from Baker's marker.After this we went to Manassas and wandered around there a bit. I didn't take many pictures because the areas we walked around I had been before. We primarily stuck to the railroad cut area as Mike wanted some footage of that to sync up with some lines in his movie. We then stopped at a winery, Mike's wife wanted a local bottle and who am I to pass up a chance at wine. And then we headed back to Antietam. We had been there the day before but now we wanted some sunset shots, plus hit a few areas that the main group might not get to just so that the movie had full coverage. Tomorrow I'll finally start posts about the main study group trip, starting with South Mountain.

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