Monday, January 30, 2012

Fort Defiance Field Trip

Today we went to Fort Defiance near downtown Clarksville. Only a small part of this fort is still in existence. The rest of it is now a neighborhood. A recently built interpretive center is also on this site. 
 The interpretive center sign. They love the metal figures at these civil war battlefields.
 Fort Defience was one of 3 forts in Clarksville.
Fort Clark, Fort Terry & Fort Sevier (Defiance) were built to protect Clarksville.
 Fort Defiance was originally called Fort Sevier. Then called Fort Bruce by the Union army & finally Fort Defiance. Only a small part of the original fort is still in existence.
 The Cumberland River made Clarksville a vital city in the Civil War effort.

Part of the earthen wall of Fort Defiance. 
 Hubby & David walking into the fort. This location was chosen because it is high on a hill overlooking the valley & the river.
 Here are the deep trenches inside of the fort that were built so the soldiers could carry munitions to the cannons without fear of being shot by the enemy.
 This fort was not contructed in the standard matter. Also the hill was too steep to shoot down at the river.
 The Union army brought their gunboats down the river & into Clarksville. The people of Clarksville surrendered to the Union without a shot being fired. The Confederate Army came in & recaptured Clarksville only to loose it again to the Union army. The people of Clarksville seemed to be reluctant to enter the war. They leaned toward the Confederate side but always took the path of least resistance.
This is a view from the river. Fort Defiance is located atop the hill on the right in the background. 

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Stones River National Battlefield Visit

Today we journeyed down to Murfreesboro, TN to the Stones River Battlefield. This battle started on December 31, 1862. This battle of all the major battles of the civil war had the largest percentage of casualties on both sides. 

 Kids in front of the Stones River National Battlefield Visitor's Center
 Overview of the Battle & battlefield
 Casualties for both sides were very very high in this battle.
Sheridan saved the day because he anticipated an early morning confederate attack. Even though the line was pushed back, they bought time for other Union troops to move in to position & hold Nashville Road
This field was the site of many deaths. It was a very bloody battle.
 The Union soldiers were penned down in this area. They continued to fight & gave the Union army 2 hours to get in place.
 The area show in the 2 pictures above was called the Slaughter Pen. Many of the soldiers were from Chicago & had seen the huge slaughter houses there. They likened the carnage here to those slaughter houses.
 Here is another crucial battle line drone by the Union soldiers to keep the Confederates from getting to Nashville road & cutting off the Union from their supply positions in Nashville.
 Here Jamie & David are pretending to be Union soldiers that are fighting off the Confederates.
 Jessica is crouching down to escape the gunfire of the Confederates that is whizzing over her head.
 It is amazing to me that these earthworks have survived 150 years!
This trenches were all that stood between these soldiers & their deaths. 
 I just love this pic. They were discussing the battle.
This is the Hazen Brigade Monument & cemetery area. 
This is the oldest surviving Civil war monument that is still standing in its original location. It was erected in 1863, less than a year after the battle. 
 The final battle at Stones River was McFadden Farm on the banks of Stones River.
This is the Artillery Monument. The kids are taking pictures of it.
 The plaque on the Artillery monument. What must it have been like for the Confederates to cross the river & see 58 cannons at the top of the hill!
They are checking out one of the canons that guarded the ridge above Stones River.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Don F Pratt Museum Visit

Today we went to the Don F Pratt Museum. This museum is located on the grounds of Fort Campbell. This museum was established in 1956 as a museum for the 101st Airborne Division. The museum covers the history of the 101st Airborne Division or the "Screaming Eagles" from it's creation in 1942 until the present time.
 Order Creating the 101st Airborne Division
 101st during WWII
Ft. Campbell was a POW camp during WWII. 
 Military Jeep 
 Photos of soldiers during the Vietnam War
 Listings of all the units assigned to the 101st Airborne in Vietnam
 David liked this display of Vietnam Era Weapons.
 Communications during Vietnam
 Display dedicated to the Medical Corps!
 We found the statistics interesting. Amazing how many lives were saved just by having helicopters available.
 Outside the museum was a park with several memorials for division that served out of Fort Campbell.
 Hubby & kids looking into a helicopter.
 Sign in the window of the helicopter above.
The Chinook Helicopter. 
Info on the Chinook. Wonder if my dad rode in this one or one similar to it when he was in Vietnam??

We had a great time at the museum. It was neat to learn all about the 101st Airborne Division. I found the Vietnam Era stuff very fascinating since my dad served in Vietnam. I don't think the kids were as fascinated as I was. They just thought it was cool to be on a real military base. I am very thankful for all the men & women who have served our country & who still are!

Fort Donelson Field Trip

We are traveling with Hubby again. This time we are in Clarksville, TN. Hubby is actually working in Dover, TN. Dover is a key battle of the Civil War and a key win for the Union army. The Battle of Fort Donelson kick started the career of Ulysses S. Grant & earned him the nickname of Unconditional Surrender Grant.

 Entrance to the park.
 Fort Donelson Visitor's Center
 Map of the Fort & Battlefield
 Union Troops & Casualty numbers
 Confederate Troops & Casualty numbers
 Jessica inside the visitor center.
 Ammunition cart in front of the visitor center.
                                     Monument for the Confederate Soldiers

 Fort Donelson 
 Example of one of the cabins that made up Fort Donelson.
 One of the trench lines that protected Fort Donelson
 Lower River Batteries
 These cannons successfully defended Fort Donelson from the Union attack by boat.
 Info on the Lower Water Battery
 Overlooking the lower river battery was this majestic Bald Eagle.
 He was so regal I had to take several pictures.
 This is when I wish I had a better camera.
 One last Eagle picture from a different angle. 
 One of the canons at the Lower River Battery.
 One of the canons in the Upper River Battery.
 Another Canon at the Upper River Battery.
 The Dover Hotel or Surrender House.
 This was the site where Buckner surrendered to Grant.
 13,000 Confederate soldiers were taken prisoner & transferred to Union camps all over the north.
 Fort Donelson National Cemetery.
 Sign at the Cemetery Lodge.
 Cemetery Lodge 
Main graves of the Union Soldiers.