I consulted her about it by phone and email. I was authorized to throw some of it away. Then I loaded up the car with the rest of it -- about 8,000 pounds of books and boxes, shoes and shirts, papers and other paraphernalia -- and set off down I95 to bring it to her.
|This fortification was overrun by Union forces|
I had never been to a Civil War site, and neither had my daughter. She was coming with her boyfriend, and we were staying overnight, but first we decided to meet at the national park in Petersburg and spend the afternoon immersing ourselves in Civil War history.
In 1864, Lee was retreating through Virginia as Grant tried to encircle his forces and cut them off from the rest of the Confederacy. The two armies fought the Battle of the Wilderness, then they clashed in Spotsylvania and again in Cold Harbor. Each battle was bloody, both sides losing thousands of men, but each time Lee's dwindling forces fought off the Union attack.
|The entrance to the tunnel|
The explosion was set off on July 30, 1864, and blew a crater hundreds of feet wide. Union forces rushed into the breach, but the Confederates regrouped. They slaughtered hundreds of Union soldiers and re-established their lines.
That set the stage for the siege of Petersburg, as Grant slowly strangled the enemy, until the Union finally took Petersburg on April 2, and then chased Lee to Appomattox where he surrendered on April 9, 1865.
And then came the denouement to my trip. In the hotel parking lot, we unloaded my car, set the stuff out on the pavement, and then repacked all the boxes, bags, loose books and stuffed animals into her car. We stayed overnight. And then in the morning we waved goodbye -- my daughter to her new house in Raleigh, NC., and me back to B, and our now-less-crowded home in New York.