Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Last week Sadie and I went on our long-anticipated vacation.  It was a smashing success, although we don't have a lot to show for it.  Our only real objective was to relax and take regular naps, which we did.  I did a lot of knitting, a little spinning, and a lot of watching HGTV, since I don't have it at home.

National Cemetery
We did have one day of sight-seeing, on which we toured the Mill Springs Battlefield and environs.  We were staying on the road one takes to view the first eight stops on the driving tour, so I felt a little obligated to see what all the fuss was about.  It was an interesting and moving day.

We started at the Visitors Center, next to the National Cemetery, where they have a museum and gift shop.  My hosts had year-long passes available, so I took advantage while Sadie waited in the car.  Then we walked over to the National Cemetery.  It was a beautiful day, and a moving sight.  The cemetery was established after the battle at Mill Creek, and many Civil War soldiers are buried there, but it is an active cemetery and many who have served our country since are there.  I was moved but ok, until I saw this and wept:

If you can't read it, it says "Unknown US Soldier".  There were many of these throughout the older section.  We frequently give thanks to those who have given their lives for our country, but these men also gave up their names.

The next stop was the actual battlefield, which included a Confederate cemetery.  A walking trail has been constructed that takes you around the field from Union to Confederate and back again, with informational signs along the way.  Sadie and I enjoyed the walk, and it was amazing to be able to imagine what had happened here almost 150 years ago so vividly.
The mass grave of Confederate Soldiers killed at the Battle of Mill Creek

The monument to General Zollicoffer, whose body was leaned against an oak tree, now referred to as "The Zollie Tree", when he mistook the Union army for his own, told them to stop shooting at the Confederates, and was shot after his assistant verbally identified him.  Or something like that; it depends on who you ask.

Headstones placed for the Confederate soldiers buried in the mass grave.