Thursday, June 10, 2010

DC Death March, part 2

Happy Fun Day 2

The "nickel" side of Monticello

On Sunday we went to Monticello, the home of founding father and third president Thomas Jefferson. There were several great inventions built into the house. The weather vane on the roof connected to a compass rose in the ceiling of the front porch, so you could the direction of the wind. There was also a clock that told not only the time, but the day of the week. The weights were so long that he had to cut a hole in the floor to include Saturday. There was a dumbwaiter for wine on the side of one of the fireplaces that went down to the wine-cellar. After touring the home and gardens, we visited his grave-site.

Jefferson grew 330 vegetable varieties in his garden

Jefferson's grave

Then our campaign continued to the Civil War battlefields of Chancellorsville, the Wilderness, and Spotsylvania Courthouse. It was a tour that Jackson's "foot cavalry" would be very proud of, because we did so much in so little of time (we did the Chancellorsville battlefield up fairly well, but the other two were mainly driving tours). Dudeboy completed activities to earn a Jr. Ranger badge. We saw the spot where Jackson was mortally wounded, and the place where they buried his amputated arm.

Monument marking the spot were Jackson was mortally wounded

Grave marker for Jackson's amputated arm

At Spotsylvania we saw a monument marking where General John Sedgwick famously exclaimed these last words in reference to the confederate sharpshooters: "They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance!" At the Bloody Angle, we saw the site where an oak tree was felled just by bullets!

"They couldn't hit an elephant . . ."

The Bloody Angle: The national park website states that the "longest sustained intense fight of the Civil War occurred at the Bloody Angle. . . . For up to 20 hours men were engaged in a hand-to-hand and close in fight that not even darkness put an end to."

Come back soon for more of the trip, Dudeboy and Merkin


Adonis said...

How did you like the ORIENTATION FILM at Monticello? My wife toiled and slaved away on it JUST FOR YOU!!!! Did you notice what Jefferson had inscribed on his grave? All them what prattle on about how this is a Christian nation should read it and, also be mindful that he wanted no churches or religious what not on the UVA campus. I'm sorry, I'll shut up now.

Merkin J. Pus-Tart said...

That's ok, because we didn't see the one at the Capitol either.

"He wanted no churches . . . " well, they have one now.

Adonis said...

Of course it has churches, it's not like any one cares what they really believed. Anyway, per Jefferson's will his gravestone says he wrote the Declaration of Independence, the Virginia Statute of Religious Freedom and founded UVA. Those are the three things he was proudest of. Not President nor Vice President (nor his Scurrilous Hounding Of Poor Aaron Burr) nor anything else, but a Statute that called for a separation of Church and State (a phrase which I believe he may have coined) was. Sorry. Shutting up again.

Merkin J. Pus-Tart said...

The actual quote, "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."

Adonis said...

Did Dudeboy wear the same shirt for the entire trip?

Merkin J. Pus-Tart said...

Yes, he did. And you might be interested to know what is printed on it . . . "William, sod off!"

Aunt Pee & Uncle Charlie dog said...

Merkin great pic of Dude in front of the Nam memorial. Man, it just wore me out looking at the pics let along being there. Dude Boy is your brain past the fill point?