Sunday, April 13, 2014

Civil War & Emancipation Day–Field Trip

As I’ve mentioned before, we are fortunate to live where we do, as it’s incredibly close to SO many historical places.  This past weekend the girls and I made the trip to the capital of the Confederate States of American - Richmond, Virginia.  Although there are over 25 Civil War museums and sites in Richmond participating in Civil War & Emancipation Day, we only had time to visit The American Civil War Museum at Tredegar on this particular trip.

There were lots of hands on activities, history camps and reenactments taking place throughout the day.   The girls quickly signed up for the Junior Ranger Program and we spent several hours touring the museum, finding interesting facts and completing a few scavenger hunts, earning their Junior Ranger Badges.

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One of the biggest thrills of the day was watching the cannon firing.  The team went through each step, showing everything that took place in preparing the cannon to fire.  Although the presentation took a good 20 minutes, he said a real cannon crew could fire a cannon every 30 seconds.  That’ incredibly fast!

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There are two main buildings at the museum, one houses 3 floors of information and the other houses 2 floors, with lots of video presentations.  

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The grounds are huge, with lots of left over equipment from Tredegar’s Gun Foundry days. I don’t claim to know what it all is, but I thought I’d share photos anyway.

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There are lots of underground tunnels and roadways on site as well.  Olivia found this especially interesting as the whole “spy” idea has her enthralled.  She wasn’t happy about not getting to go through the tunnels, until I mention potential spiders and snakes…then she was content to look on from a distance.

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There is a lovely statue of President Lincoln onsite.  He visited Richmond shortly after it’s capture by the Union Calvary.

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The James River flows directly in front of Tredegar.   There are lovely walking trails and gardens along the river, as well as monuments such as “The Headman”.

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Three Days in April is a bridge monument dedicated to those who were in Richmond during it’s fall to the Union.
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Along the boardwalk are quotes from people, both Union and Confederate.

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You can also look out over the James River and see the remaining pilings, from the original bridge that the Confederates burnt as the fled the city.

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We saw and did lots of things on this beautiful spring day in Richmond.  It was hard to wrap our minds around all that took place  on this ground.  We wrapped up our day watching the Stavna Ballet perform a piece called “Angels of Our Nature”.

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This was the perfect field trip for my girls, it combined their love of history with their love of dance.

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