Saturday, April 25, 2009

History overload ! Appomattox & Monticello

The McLean house at the top (where the surrender took place)
The Appomatox courthouse

OK, I think that I may be in serious danger of history overload. Yesterday we went to Appomattox, Virginia where General Robert E Lee surrendered to General Grant at the end of the Civil War. It didn't dawn on me until we were watch a movie about the war, that within a few weeks we had gone from Fort Sumter where the war stated to Appomattox where it ended. It was very interesting hearing about Lee's retreat from Richmond and how the end came about. Also, I had always thought that the surrender was done in the Appomattox Courthouse but it was actually in a house owned by some people named McLean just down the street from the courthouse. Apparently the courthouse was closed because it was Palm Sunday and also most of the town people had let because they were caught between the two armies.

Then today we drove about a hundred miles or a little less, up to Charolottesville, Virginia. We got here early enough that we quickly ran over to Monticello (not pronounced Monti - sello, like I thought but Monti-chello like the musical instrument). My mother always raved about how much she loved Monticello but I had no idea until we got there. It is up on this very high hill overlooking the valleys on all sides. The house itself is much, much larger than any plantation house that we have seen up until now. Plus, on both sides were long areas call the "dependencies" where the cooking, weaving, sewing, meat smoking, ice house, wine cellars etc etc etc all were. Thomas Jefferson himself, of course, was simply an amazing man. The house was full of the most interesting inventions, artifacts of dinosaurs and native americans, fine furniture, art and all manner of amazing things. There was just too much to begin to describe.

We are tired and hot (it was 88 today) and ready to take it easy. We have found a smaller Baptist church down the road that we will try to go to tomorrow. It turns out that one of the more famous Southern Baptist missionaries from many years ago used to teach Sunday School at that church so I'm excited to go there. (I just found out that fact by accident). (It was Lottie Moon for you Baptists reading the blog !)

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