Thursday, March 29, 2012

Eagles at Fort Donelson

Today we got to see the Eagles at Fort Donelson National Battlefield.
Here one of the Eagles is flying into the nest. If you look closely on right of the photo toward the top, you can see the other Eagle on the nest.

Here the 2 eagles are feeding the eaglets. The fuzzy grey between the eagles are the eaglets.
Here is one more of the happy family. This is when I really wish I had a better camera with a telephoto lens.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Stones River National Battlefield

On Sunday, we traveled to Stones River National Battlefield in Murfreesboro, TN. As part of the town's 200th anniversary, they had a Civil War living history event at the battlefield.

They gave several presentations during the day. At this demonstration we learned about the Rutherford Rifles, a militia group from Murfreesboro that joined the Conferedate Army.

Then they gave a Rifle demonstration!

They had a little camp set up. This was a display of drawings that depicted crimes soldiers might commit and the punishments given for those crimes.

This is a communications tent. They would run wire (on the spool) from one command center to another.

Communication would then be transmitted from this box to a similar box on the other end. This box could code & decode messages quickly.

They might also use a standard teletype machine but it was more work as you had to manually code & decode messages.

If they didn't have time to run wire, communication was done using signal flags.

This was a display of tools used to fix wagons & cannons as well as for other things.

This is a tent that 2 soldiers would share as they fought their way across the country.

One of the highlights of the day was the firing of the cannons. Here the union soldiers just fired the cannons.

Then the Confederate soldiers fired the cannons. It was at this point that the kids finally figured out that they were the same men both times.

Jamie & David are working on filling out their Stones River Junior Ranger Books.

Jessica filled a book out too. They have these books at several of the national parks. Your age determines how much of the book you have to fill out.

When you fill out a Junior Ranger book, which has questions about what you see at that park, you get a pin. When you fill out 3 from different battlefields, you get a Junior Civil War Historian patch & get sworn in as a Junior Ranger.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Hope Civil War Days

We made an unexpected field trip last weekend. My mom let me know in the middle of the week that my hometown, Hope, IN was having Civil War Days. Since we're studying that, we made plans to go home & visit.
Some of the ladies were making uniforms & providing laundry services.
David enjoyed this tent full of weaponry. If I lost track of him during the day, this is where I would find him.
The soldiers from the 11th Indiana drilling.
They had the kids line up to be mustered into the army.
David was the only one who would sign up.
He had to show his teeth before he could enlist.
Then they swore the kids in.
Next the kids had to learn drum signal & trumpet calls.
At last, they got to drill.

Jessica relaxing & watching her brother drill.
Jamie watching all the fun.
Then they had a cemetery tour during which several people from Hope's history talked about the Civil War from their perspective. This soldier talked about losing a child while at war.
This lady was waiting on her fiancé to come home from the war so they could be married.
This boy told about how he enlisted even though he was underage. This was a common experience in the Civil War.
This man talked about his experiences in the war & the adjustments he had to make after the war.
The last speaker was a band leader during the war & told us about the importance of music for morale during the war.
Overall, I was quite impressed by it all. Hope is a small town yet they did a great job showing life during the Civil War in a small town.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Life at Home

This week we are home. A little more subdued week that when we are traveling. Not sure when we go out on the road again, but I think I'm ready to go again!

This week we have caught up on math & language arts (reading, writing, grammar, phonics). So it's kind of boring. Jamie finished her Pre-Algebra with a grade of 88%. So we should start Algebra soon. Jessica is 3/4 of the way through her Alpha book & David is 1/3 of way through his Beta book. They are all doing very good.

We did make it out to the library on Wednesday. We picked out a bunch of Civil War books. Then each of the kids picked 5 books for fun. Had a proud mommy moment when David choose Little Women to read. He was even more excited when I told him that she wrote one called "Little Men" too.

When we got home from church Wednesday night, all 3 kids chose to sit & read for awhile. I love to read so it thrills my heart to see them reading!

So other than normal school work we are working on Civil War projects. It's going slow. I figure next week will be more productive & I should have some pictures to share.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Shiloh Battlefield Visit

On Friday, February 22, we went down to Shiloh National Military Park in Shiloh, TN. The battle of Shiloh took place on April 6 & 7, 1862. Producing more than 23,000 casualties, the battle was the largest engagement in the Mississippi Valley campaign during the Civil War.

 The kids in front of the Visitor Center.

 This battlefield is one of the most extensively marked battlefields we have been to. On the over 4,200 acres of battlefield, there are over 800 markers & monuments.

 Some of the famous veterans of the Battle of Shiloh.

 This battlefield has a junior ranger program. They have a booklet that the kids fill out using info they find around the park. If they fill it out, they get a badge. Here the kids are searching for info.

 David dressed as a Union soldier.

 David dressed as a Confederate soldier.

 I loved these pictures because they are of troops from Indiana. I believe some of my ancestors might be in these pictures.

One of the many monuments dedicated to Indiana troops. This is for the 17th Regiment of the Infantry.

 This is a replica of the Shiloh church. The battle started here. 
The original church was burnt down during the battles.

 The kids at the front of Shiloh Church.

 Union troops were stationed around Shiloh church. The Confederate troops snuck up & attacked on the morning of April 6, 1862.

 Colonel Everett Peabody sent out scouting missions to determine the position & size of the Confederate Army. He encouraged his men to hold the line & keep the Confederates at bay despite 4 wounds including the head wound that would take his life.

 General Johnston was head of the Confederate troops at Shiloh. He seemed to be everywhere encouraging his troops. He took a shot to the leg, behind the knee. 

 General Johnston did not think his wound was serious. But the bullet hit an artery. He was found at this spot slumped over on his horse by Gov. Isham Harris who was volunteering during the battle.

 Governor Harris led General Johnston's horse down in this valley where the General died (down by the sign where David is standing). His death was considered by Confederate President Jefferson Davis to be"the turning point of our fate."

During the battle, soldiers from both sides came here to drink & bath their wounds. Many men & horses died at the edges of this pond that it turned blood red.

 This was one of the bloodiest battle sites at Shiloh. The Confederates would end up winning this confrontation but only after a considerable loss of infantry troops.

The confederates stood where I am standing. Across this wide open field along the tree line is the "sunken road". The Union Army formed a line at the sunken road which formed a natural trench in which to fight from. They were able to pick off the Confederate infantry as they marched across the open field. This area was called the Hornets nest because of the sheer amount of ammunition flying here.

 The tide of this skirmish turned when the Confederate Artillery brought in 62 cannons to fire at the Union. What the infantry could not do in over 6 hours, the Artillery accomplished in less than 2 hours.

Jessica taking a picture of an Illinois monument.

 Jamie & David reading about the Artillery at the Hornets Nest. 

Map of the Shiloh National Cemetery.

A marker showing the location of General Grant's headquarters in the cemetery.

 These were some deer that were in the field across from the cemetery. There's at least 5 in this photo.

 And another 6 here. There were just beautiful & a great way to end our day!