Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Atlanta Campaign . . . Part 2

The view from our campsite at Stone Mountain . . .

We camped at Stone Mountain. Our campsite gave us a great view of the mountain just across the lake. We got a good fire blazing. The next morning when we awoke, we rode up the sky ride to Stone Mountain. Once we were at the top, the views were super! You could see Atlanta off in the distance. On the ride you could get a clear view of the sculpture on the mountainside.

A monument to traitors . . . and a site for Klan rallies.

Dudeboy thought the the giant granite dome that makes up Stone Mountain resembled the moon . . . well, here are the craters.

Downtown Atlanta off in the distance.

The Battle for Atlanta Cyclorama.

Then we went to the Atlanta Cyclorama which we were told is the largest oil painting in the world. It’s about the Battle of Atlanta combined with a diorama to make it more realistic. There were seats in the middle of a circular room with the painting on the walls. The seats turned slowly so the audience could view the whole thing. It was originally made to be a campaign poster, but the person who was going to use it as a campaign poster died before it was completed. Then it was a part of a circus. When the circus ran out of money, the animals became Atlanta’s zoo and the painting became the Cyclorama. After the circus, the first diorama was made out of real Georgia soil, and the plants were real. This was one of the things that damaged the painting. Now the ground of the diorama is made out of fiberglass and plastic, and the painting has been restored. At the Cyclorama they had an exhibit about the Civil War, including the Texas which was the train that chased the General. If you don’t know that story click here.

The Atlanta Cyclorama is also home for the steam locomotive Texas . . . which chased down the General.

The General

We saw the actual General at our next stop. It is one of the most famous trains of the Civil War. Andrews’ raid started at Big Shanty (now Kennesaw), which is where the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History is located. It was one of the best museums because it had trains and the Civil War intertwined. We learned about the railroad in the South. For example, one of the exhibits was about Confederates guarding the railway tracks so the Union wouldn’t sabotage them. We also saw a big exhibit on the foundry located nearby where they made trains. It included unfinished trains from the foundry.

When we got home we watched the silent movie The General starring Buster Keaton. It was a good way to wrap up our Atlanta campaign.

The General was captured just out of Ringgold, Ga. (which was home to us for two years).

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