Friday, July 9, 2010

DC Trip - Oddments, part 2 . . . The Spotsylvania Stump

The website for the national park service 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." And testament to that is the Spotsylvania Stump. Even knowing what took place here I still find it incomprehensible that a 22-inch oak tree could be whittled down to a stump just by miniƩ balls! Robert E. Lee was incredulous as well . . . until he was shown the severed tree after the battle. Apparently, about a year later, relics hunters claimed the stump and hid it away until Union soldiers "liberated" it. The stump was brought to the Smithsonian in 1888, and can still be seen in the Price of Freedom: Americans at War exhibit in the National Museum of American History.

The remains of the stump still riddled with miniƩ balls at the Smithsonian.

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