22 April 2007

Backwoods Georgia

Ok, so this is a short post that is pretty much to make the next post not quite so wicked huge. The drive from GA Vets to Americus (next post) is pretty backwoods. but hey, I follow the markers, like you see here. This title picture is the Adkins Oak tree, which shaded visitors to the Adkins plantation.

The Luther Story bridge, named for the Sumter County Medal of Honor winner.

Georgia Veterans State Park

Ok, so this was my first major stop of day two. Georgia Vets St park is a unique place, that it combines the beauty and recreation of a state park, with an excellent military museum. It was founded in 1946 as a gift to the state of GA and her veterans. The title picture shows one of the main attractions, the park's B29 Superfortress, with an F84 Thunderstreak behind it. This particular B29, nicknamed Dark Side, flew weather reconnaissance out of Guam. On June 29, 1945, its crew was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for flying through a typhoon with only two engines. The Thunderstreak was a test aircraft for electronics until it was transferred to a reserve unit in GA. I think I figured out how to put captions with the photos, so there ya go. There are several more indoor and outdoor displays that are not on here, just for space, really. I just kind of picked what I thought was the most unique or interesting. Other outdoor displays not on here are: Russian 85mm gun, US 57mm anti-tank gun, US 155mm howitzer, US LVT3, US M47 Patton tank, US M4 Sherman tank, UH1 Irroquois helicopter, FJ4 Fury fighter, and a T33 Shooting Star fighter. If anyone would like to see the photos of these, I guess just let me know.
This photo was supposed to be on the last post (oops) but is not the end of the world since it was on the way to the GA Vets park.
Two Civil War era rifles and a pistol.
Artifacts from World War I.
World War II
Vietnam, note the Vietnamese flag, though I can't find why it has two color backgrounds.
WW2 Russian 120mm Mortar
US WW2 37mm anti-tank gun
US WW2 155mm heavy artillery

US Korea/Vietnam era LVTP5 (Landing vehicle tracked personnel.) US WW2 M3A1 Stuart light tank, painted to look like those used in the invasion of North Africa. The flag was painted on to prevent French forces from firing at the tank.

15 April 2007

There was evening, and there was morning...

Ok, so where were we? Sheesh, feels like I never have time to work on this anymore. Anyway, so after leaving Fitzgerald and the Jefferson Davis site, I headed in a northerly direction, since it was getting late and the nearby campgrounds were full, I thought I would drive in the general direction I needed to go and find a hotel. So, when I got to the freeway, I was in the town of Ashburn, the seat of Turner county. The title picture is the county courthouse. Next picture is the historical marker for the county. Unfortunetly I can not find any evidence for the Seminole battle it describes. I find no mention of a seminole battle this far north, especially in that timeframe. It doesn't make any sense. Next picture is a monument from the Boy's club of Ypsilanti, Michigan to the local people. On April 11, 1978, a bus carrying members of the club was going south on I75 on a trip to Disney world and was getting off for a rest stop when the bus overturned, killing three and injuring 25. The monument is in thanks to the local people for their help following the accident. Next photo is the county memorial to war vets, and the next one is the old town jail, now a museum (which was closed by the time I got there.) Next two photos show a Titan 1 missile and its sign, just off I75 in Cordelle, GA. The missile was moved here from California in 1969 as part of the Confederate Air Force preservation group and has become known as Confederate Air Force Pad No 1. I spent the night in Cordelle, in a hotel that was, oddly enough, right next to the missle. The next morning I went downtown where the Crisp county courthouse is, and the next picture shows it with the county war vets memorial in the bottom corner. Next is the historical marker for Crisp county, and a picture of downtown Cordelle. Last photo is the county Confederate vet memorial, down the street from the courthouse.

08 April 2007

Jefferson Davis

Ok, so this was the next big stop on my trip. Although General Lee had already surrendered to Grant in Virginia, hopes for many Confederates still survived as long as Jefferson Davis and his cabinet were around. Those hopes ended here May 10, 1865 when his group was captured where they had camped for the night. They had been travelling from Richmond, Virginia to Texas, where they had hoped to attempt a new campaign. During the night, the 1st Wisconsin infantry, and 4th Michigan cavalry had approached the area. Running into each other nearby, each thought that the other was the enemy, and a short "friendly fire" followed, that ended with 2 casualties, John Rupert and John Hines, both of the Michigan cavalry. Shortly thereafter, they found the campsite and apprehended Davis. Rumors began circulating that he was found wearing his wifes clothing, whether intentionally to escape, or by accident in the dark, but accounts are contradictary and there is no way to know for sure. Davis was taken to Fort Monroe in Virginia, where he was a prisoner for two years before being released on bail. Photo captions: Title photo is the monument to Davis on the capture site. Next shows the historic marker located in Fitzgerald, GA (see last post) telling about the site, and next is a marker on the road to the capture site. Next photos are two of the ones I managed to take in the museum before they told me to turn off my camera. The first is a Confederate not e with a story: Major A.S. Jonas (a native of Mississippi) was a member of the staff of General Stephan D. Lee, when paroled at High Point, NC in May 1865. He went with a party of officers to Richmond, VA to secure transportation home. At the Powhatan Hotel, where they were entertained, they met miss
Anna Bush ( a young lady from the North) then visiting in Richmond. In conversation with the officers one day she showed them some Confederate notes printed on one side, saying she was going to carry them home as souvenirs. Handing one to each officer, she requested them to write a few lines with autograph attached. Each gallantly complied, and Major Jonas handed back the now famous "lines". Soon after "the lines" appeared in the NY Metropolitan Record, under the heading "Something too good to be lost". Official recognization was accorded Major Jonas' beautiful lines by the National Convention of the Untied Daughters of the Confederacy in Norfolk 1907. The poem had a prominent place on the program Historic Day, Nov 15 1907, the honor of reading it being conferred on the poet's daughter, Miss Annie Lowe Jonas of Memphis.
"Representing nothing on God's green earth now,
And naught in the waters below it,
As the pledge of a nation that's dead and gone,
Keep it dear friend, and show it.
Show it to those who will lend an ear
To the tale that this paper can tell
Of liberty born of the Patriot's dream,
Of a storm cradled nation that fell.
Too poor to possess the precious ores
And too much of a stranger to borrow,
We issued today our promise to pay,
And hoped to repay on the morrow.
The days rolled by and the weeks became years,
But our coffers were empty still;
Coin was so rare that the treasury'd quake
If a dollar should drop in the till.
But the faith that was in us was strong indeed,
And our poverty well we discerned
And this little check represented the pay
That our suffering veterans earned
We knew the value in gold,
Yet as gold each soldier received it;
It gazed in our eyes with a promise to pay,
and each Southern patriot belived it.
But our boys thought little of price or pay,
Or of bills that were overdue,
We knew if it brought us our bread today,
'Twas the best our poor country could do.
Keep it, it tells all our history o'er,
From the birth of our dreams 'till the last;
Modest, and born of the angel Hope,
Like our hope of success, it passed." -Major A.S. Jonas
The next picture shows some effects of Georgia's last Confederate veteran, William Jordan Bush (see last post.) Included are shoes, pipe, umbrella, and his Confederate flag that he carried in many parades and events. Next picture shows the Davis capture site. Some of these trees have been there since the event. Next is the back of the monument (the front is the title picture). Next is the road they travelled on, the only original section of it remaining. And the last picture is the marker where the friendly fire occured and killed the two men.

01 April 2007

Fitzgerald, or the Blue and Grey

Ok, so the first major stop on my trip was the town of Fitzgerald, GA. Not real exciting right? Well, you just have to hear the town's story... In the 1890's, depression and drought plaqued farms across the Midwest US, many owned by former Union soldiers. Other states sent help and food, Georgia being one of the greatest contributors. A man named P.H. Fitzgerald, a former Union drummer boy, lived in Inddianapolis, but realized an dream in Georgia. His idea for a colony of fomer Union soldiers in Georgia caught the interest of veterans and the governor of Georgia, himself a Confederate veteran. The site for the colony was chosen near the town of Swan, GA. Many former Union vets showed up quickly, including those who had been on Sherman's march to the sea, been at Andersonville prison, and one who had benn at the capture of Jefferson Davis, all of which happened nearby. City plans were made to include the names of several Union generals, but it was decided that to be fair, an equal number of Confederate generals would have streets named for them as well. Thus became Grant, Sherman, Lee, and Johnston streets. The gathering Union vets aroused more curiosity than anything among the Southern population, and the town soon became a tourist spot to come "look at the Yankees." Before long, a roll call of the states and territories was made in the town center, and a representative from every one was present. Soon a large hotel was built, named the Lee-Grant. After the town's first monumental year, a celebration was called and a special building, the Corn and Cotton Palace, was built. Two parades were also planned, one for Union vets, and one for Confederate vets. Some were concerned that the display would stir up bitterness and cause a scene, but when the band started to play, Union and Confederate veterans came out, in uniform, marching next to each other behind the Stars and Stripes. To them, the United States was a single nation once again. Today, the Blue and Grey museum honors all who fought in the war and tells the history of this unique city where the nation was reunited. As for the photos: Title photo shows the town seal, laid in the sidewalk. Note the Union and Confederate soldiers, and flags, showing the peace made in the city. Next photo is the monument to locals in the Spanish American war. Next is the war memorial for WW1-Vietnam. Next is a marker designating Jefferson Davis highway, named because it runs by his capture sight (next post). Next two photos show artifacts in the museum from the Civil War and its veterans. The Lee-Grant hotel burned down years ago, but its fireplace survived and is in the museum in the next photo. After that is the Confederate flag from the coffin of William J. Bush, Georgia's last Confederate veteran, and the Union flag from the coffin of William Mccormick, one of the Union pioneers of the town. Next photo is the front desk of the museum, which is the original from the Lee-Grant hotel. Next is the marker for Ben Hill county, followed by the county WW1 memorial, and the county courthouse, all in Fitzgerald. Next photos are the marker for Fitzgerald, and the home of William Bush, GA's last Confederate veteran, called General because of his work in Confederate Vet associations. The last two photos are the marker and bell of the first church in Fitzgerald. Reference: Fitzgerald... The Early Days by Beth Davis