Best Holiday Trav-L-Park
Pull Thru #137
99% of the time, Bill and I are on the same page. When we looked at things to see and do today, we both picked different things. It was a light dreary rain so we decided to visit the Chickamuga and Chattanooga National Military Park and see if they had something to see indoors. If they didn't have an indoor display, we'd continue down that road to the unconventional place I wanted to see. Did you notice Bill's destination was first?
The visitor center was beautiful and much larger on the inside than it looked on the outside. The entrance was on the side of the building.
As we entered the visitor's center, I knew we were going to be here for awhile.
The movie wasn't your typical synopsis or a bunch of photos but together like most National Parks have. The movie was a 26 minute action movie held in a theater with a screen as big as Harkin theaters. There was a warning before entering that this was history and not all parts were suitable for everyone.
Outside the theater there were exhibits about the Civil War.
This battery wagon is believed to be the only surviving one from the Civil War. It was completely restored in 1978.
The next exhibit was one of Bill's favorites.
Before entering the Fuller Gun Collection, there was another exhibit area as you entered.I was surprised about this wagon.
I believe this is a Spencer rifle that Bill is checking out.
Finally Bill gets to the archway of the Fuller Collection of American Military Shoulder Arms, he's almost there. Just then, we heard an announcement that a park ranger dressed in period clothing was giving a presentation on the real reason why men fought in the war. We knew the gun collection would have to wait, we knew this would be worth attending.
Naturally, we weren't disappointed.
Bill had told me a long time ago how during the war, the muskets missed-fired and they reloaded them forgetting they had powder in them.
When the park ranger went to fire it, it missed fired. I knew right away with the look on his face this could have been dangerous but the park ranger knew what to do. He tapped the butt of the musket on the ground before putting another cap on. He thought maybe the first cap got wet. Once he had replaced the cap, the musket worked perfectly. He told us that 50 miles away they could hear the gunfire and the smoke made it impossible to see during the war. There were over 100,000 soldiers fighting at this battlefield.
Finally, Bill gets to check out the 346 weapons on display. They had all been restored to original condition which in our opinion takes away from it a little bit.
There were six alcoves like this one.
This gun has a coffee grinder on it.
Trying to heal the wounds of the war, a barbecue at Crawfish Springs in 1889, drew the largest reunion of veterans from both sides since the end of the war. Former Union general John T. Wilder and former Confederate general Joseph Wheeler organized the Joint Chickamauga Memorial Association. The Association lobbied heavily on Capitol Hill when park legislation was introduced.
In 1890, the nations first official military park --The Battlefields of Chickamauga and Chattanooga was signed by President Benjamin Harrison as designation into law on August 19th. This was 5 years before Gettysburg and 26 years before the National Park Service was established.
We drove through part of the park but did not see all 140 of the monuments.
We didn't want to hike in the misty rain and besides we would have disturbed the turkeys.
It was a most enjoyable visit.
Polly and Vern Fogler came over while I was writing the blog. We enjoyed their visit and made plans for another adventure tomorrow.
After we left the battlefield we were en route to my unconventional visit when we saw this sign.
Oops! I must have forgot to put the GPS back in RV mode. Lucky for us we were in the truck and not towing the 5th wheel.
I'll save tomorrow's blog for the "unconventional". There's way too many photos to include today.
Stay tuned tomorrow, it promises to be unconventional.