Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Hilliard and Agnes Hall

On our way to visit a few family historic sites, we passed through Red Boiling Springs in Macon County, Tennessee.  For years this community has been known for its mineral springs resorts.  A few of them survive.  These places are really a throwback to another time.

The Thomas House Bed and Breakfast, formerly the Cloyd Hotel . . . they had a "ghost hunt weekend" going on when we stopped by.

Armour Hotel, formerly the Counts Hotel . . . apparently known for "pancake Saturdays."

 Tinker Hall Cemetery near Steam Mill Hollow (a few miles out of Red Boiling Springs).

The graves of Agnes Hall  (left) and "Tinker" Hilliard Hall (right).  They are Dudeboy's great-great-great grandparents.  From some notes Vic made from talking to Grandma Cap . . . Agnes was a "quiet, kind woman . . . short in stature. (She) charmed butter.  I never heard Agnes and Hilliard quarrel."  

 Steam Mill Hollow got its name from Hilliard Hall's mill.  From some notes written by my great aunt Dixie . . . "They settled in a small valley.  This valley was named "Steam Mill Hollow" because my grandfather Hall was a millwright and always kept a steam engine for power to operate the saw mill."

"He was an excellent mechanic.  He was nicknamed Tinker Hall for he was so gifted that he liked to work on different objects.  He also made an eight string banjo."  Mom still has Hilliard's fiddle . . . unfortunately, it is in poor condition.

 Steam Mill Hollow . . . the old mill would have been situated near the back of this field next to the creek.  The Hilliard Hall home was situated on the left side of this photo.

The yucca plants, wild roses and March flowers mark the location of the house.  

Happy Ridge near Brimstone Creek in Clay County, Tennessee.  This is the location of the home of Samuel and Jane Brown Kendall . . . the parents of Agnes Kendall Hall.  The house was situated somewhere between where we are standing and the barn.
According to service records, Hilliard Hall was "Left sick at Glasgow, Ky. Sept. 11, 1862.  Taken prisoner and paroled.  Not heard of since."  Family lore states that Hilliard was making his way back to South Carolina and made it as far as Brimstone Creek, where the Kendalls nursed him back to health.

Hilliard never returned to the war or South Carolina.  He married Agnes and eventually ended up at Steam Mill Hollow . . . the place my grandmother always considered home.  So, we are here because of a series of seemingly insignificant incidents during the Civil War.  Hilliard Hall was a member of the 19th SC Infantry . . . one of only two units from South Carolina to participate in the Western theater.  He got sick in Kentucky and was nursed to health in Tennessee . . . never to return to South Carolina.  

Sunday, February 24, 2013

More Tennessee Waterfalls . . .

Union Camp Falls in Macon County, Tennessee . . .

The lower drop of the several tiered Winding Stair Falls near Lafayette, Macon County, Tennessee.  This is one of those waterfalls that photos can do no justice (you need to hike this one to get the full effect) . . . as you climb up the "winding stairs" and make the twisting turns, you are continually rewarded with another postcard view.

 The middle section of Winding Stair . . .

  The top drop . . .

The springs situated at the top of Winding Stair.

"New" waterfall near Moss, Tn.  There is actually another comparable waterfall to the right, but I was unable to get both in the same shot.  This photo looks odd because it was dark and I had to use a long exposure.  That is a waterwheel next to Vic and Dudeboy.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Fort Donelson and Dover

This past weekend, Dudeboy and I joined the 9th Ky for our annual encampment at Fort Donelson (which is generally held around the anniversary of the battle).  Despite the temperature falling to 16°F Saturday night, fun was had by all.  The above photo is from the 9th Ky. website.  And I should add, any other of the photos with me in them were taken by Dudeboy.  

The ranger's program this year focused on the little known (or at least neglected) Battle of Dover, which was fought in that nearby town on February 3, 1863.  It was here that Forrest severed his ties to Joseph Wheeler vowing "I will be in my coffin before I will fight again under your command."

In keeping with the program, we were deployed as skirmishers.  This is the first time I have participated in a skirmish line.  I must admit, I liked it better than the normal drilling we do for the spectators.

 Courier Dudeboy out with an early morning patrol . . .

We also got to participate in a three volley salute at a memorial service at the Fort Donelson National Cemetery.

Winter camp at night . . . no, we didn't get to sleep in the cabin.  We braved the cold in our a-frame canvas tent.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Darwin Day 2013

Happy Darwin Day 2013 . . . our cookie this year represents an illustration from Darwin's monograph on how coral reefs are formed.  Many do not realize that Darwin was also a noted geologist* and that the speculation about the formation of coral reefs was very contested.  It was not until the 1980's or so (with deep sea drilling) that Darwin's theory was finally proven correct.  The man was amazing.  Happy Birthday Charles Darwin . . . and Old Abe as well!
*opens a pdf file.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Arches and waterfalls on a beautiful day

Yesterday, Dudeboy and I led a hike for some members of the KGS to a few arches and waterfalls in the Mammoth Cave area.  We had an absolutely beautiful day to hike. 

    Eye Socket Arch . . .

The group at Eye Socket Arch . . .

Elephant Head . . .

A double arch in a side drainage.

 Talon Arch . . .

Mammoth Cave "dummy" steam engine No. 4 . . .