Sunday, June 1, 2014

The Ultimate Civil Wargasm Part IV

The Monument to the Confederate Dead

       While in Hollywood Cemetery, we stopped by the monument to the Confederate dead. All those stones reminded me of my rock climbing days and I began to climb the monument. I got about fifteen feet off the ground when I thought about the caretakers. I was afraid they would toss us from the cemetery before we finished the job at hand, so I came back down. 
       We found Brigadier General Joseph Reid Anderson (Virginia), James Jay Archer (Maryland), Robert Chilton (Virginia), John Pegram (Virginia and killed at Hatcher's run), Samuel Garland (Virginia and killed at Fox's Gap), John Rogers Cooke (Virginia), and Major General Henry Heth (Virginia). We then ran into a snag. We couldn't find Brigadier General Philip St. George Cocke (Virginia). He was an early casualty, not from enemy fire, but from depression. The day after Christmas of 1861, he committed suicide. We were forced to spread out and comb the area around where he is marked on the map. It took us awhile and the temperature had really heated up at this point. Jerry finally found the hard to find grave. 

The writing is barely legible on Cocke's stone

       We then went to the graves of Confederate President Jefferson Davis, Major General Fitzhugh Lee (Virginia), Brigadier General Eppa Hunton (Virginia), David Rumph "Neighbor" Jones (South Carolina), Samuel Jones (Virginia), Thomas Muldrop Logan (South Carolina), William "Extra Billy" Smith (Virginia), Henry Wise (Virginia), Reuben Lindsay Walker (Virginia), William Richard Terry (Virginia) and Isaac Munroe St. John (Maryland). We then visited the grave of Major General Jeb Stuart (Virginia), one of the most famous cavalrymen of the war next to Forrest, but I always consider Forrest as leading mounted infantry. At this point, we kept running into cemetery tours and were getting a lot of strange looks in our jackets.

Stacie and I with Jeb and Flora Stuart

       I hope I didn't leave anybody out. That should be 27 generals if anyone wants to go back and count them. We left the cemetery, found a place to eat, and then headed to the Museum of the Confederacy and the White House of the Confederacy where Davis lived throughout the war. 

Stacie and I standing with President Jeff Davis

       Outside the museum we found the drive shaft and anchor of the Confederate ironclad C.S.S. Virginia. We also posed beside the anchor chain of one of the ships she sank, the U.S.S. Cumberland. We then hit the museum and toured the house. The museum was good, not near as nice as I remembered it back in 1996. The upstairs has been re-arranged to glorify the movie "Gettysburg." Another part of the museum is loaded with post war memorabilia that I could of skipped entirely. Jerry found a display that contained Bedford Forrest's field glasses and I thought I would have to pry him away from it. 
       We found one display that contained all of Lee's wartime things in a mock up of his tent. I told Jerry the cot needed a chicken underneath it. We then noticed that the museum staff had done the right thing and placed an egg beneath the cot. Lee had a pet hen during the war that slept beneath his cot and laid him an egg which he ate for breakfast each morning. 

Notice the egg just behind Lee's boots beneath his cot

       There were a lot of neat displays and some disappointing ones. A lot of things were removed for one reason or another. The trousers that Dorsey Pender was wearing at Gettysburg when he was mortally wounded in the thigh were removed. Jeb Stuart's memorabilia was neat, as was John Hunt Morgan's. The outfit that Jeff Davis was captured wearing is on display. If you remember, Davis was accused of wearing a dress by northern papers. This is not true at all and Davis had his photograph taken in the gray suit he was wearing to prove them wrong. Evidently, people didn't sue the newspapers back then when they reported false stories, but they did challenge editors to duels a lot. 

The gray suit Davis was captured wearing

Jeb Stuart's effects

       We left the Museum of the Confederacy and attempted to head to the battlefields of Gaines Mill, Cold Harbor, and Malvern Hill, but ran into another snag. We were using the GPS on Jerry's phone and it began to act as goofy as Melanie. I think Jerry has this effect on people and machines. I began to think we were stuck in Virginia's version of the Bermuda triangle. His phone kept sending us in circles and back to the toll road. We paid a toll to get on the road and then paid a toll to get off the road at least three times. I was growing frustrated. Unfortunately, Jerry thought I was aggravated at him. He would apologize to my wife at the hotel that night, but I was never upset with Jerry. Maybe I should have been, because since the trip, I've come to the conclusion that Jerry gets a percentage of toll money in Richmond. Why else would he keep sending me through the same toll road over and over?
       I finally got frustrated and decided enough was enough. We left Richmond for Petersburg and skipped the battlefields. I've always wanted to visit these three battlefields and thought I would while on this trip. My mom always said that the one thing the good Lord didn't provide me with was patience. We arrived in Petersburg with enough time to tour the battlefield before dark and visit Blandford Cemetery. I will post that blog another day. 


  1. Great site... Interesting stories...

    Keep 'em coming...

    Noticed the list of generals in this posting... General Garland should be buried in Lynchburg vice Richmond...

  2. thanks so much for the kind words, Chickamauga. Hope to have the rest of the trip on here tomorrow. General Garland happens to be a personal hero of mine.

  3. Not sure how I stumbled onto your site, but I did so several weeks ago and have not left it...

    Good stuff... Very informative...

    Keep up the good work...

  4. Thank you so much. I'm attacked so much, I appreciate the kind words, Deo Vindice.