The Unknown Civil War Soldier

Last year, Paul was digging a hole in the yard and came across a small horseshoe and a rusted chain. When he was telling a local about it, he mentioned that our house was on the old dairy property. The local told him it was more likely a mule shoe, and the chain and shoe were probably from the civil war era….with the creek below us, the knoll our house is on for observation, it would be good for an encampment! Makes sense; we are in the middle of a battlefield area. Just south of us is Rippavilla, where the Union army slept while the confederates slipped by in the middle of the night on the Columbia Pike, heading north of us only to fight the infamous Battle of Franklin, which has been called “the bloodiest hours of the American Civil War.” Now, between here and there, located on Columbia Pike (Highway 31), is a sign stating you are entering the Franklin battlefield. And just beyond that sign, located in what was known as the Valley of Death, is the site of new construction…..the site every mother of a civil war MIA soldier would want to claim as her own.
The remains of an unknown soldier were found in a shallow grave, along with the bullet that killed him, tacks from his shoes, and several metal buttons, both Union and Confederate. Did he spend the night on what is now our property? Was he in the group that snuck by Rippavilla? Or was he defending Franklin as they came up the road? Among the speculation, the only known is that this was an American, killed in war.
This morning, we attended the re interment of his remains. What a special ceremony!! I could not help but think of all of the soldiers who have given their lives for our freedom over the years. This war was no different in the loss of lives, many unknown. And this was a tribute to all of them.

Along with period hymns and songs of the North and the South,
A Letter from a Soldier was read (I tried to turn and upload, no luck…so please tilt your head to read it!:))

Both Confederate and Union re-enactors were present, since it is unknown what side he was on.

And both flags were represented on the coffin.

After the handmade coffin was laid in the ground, “Dust to Dust” ceremony, with a representative from each state represented in the Battle of Franklin brought and placed soil from that state on the coffin…. a symbol that he is resting under his home state’s soil. The representatives from Georgia and Indiana were sons of soldiers on opposite sides.

Taps and a 21-gun salute were included, but I can’t download my video….One day I will figure out what I am doing wrong!
Check out the Tennesseean for the newspaper article.

Eastern Shore, VA

On our last day, the sunrise did not disappoint us… in fact I think it may have been the most beautiful!

Buildings are so unique. In the surrounding area, there were many that were the old farmhouse variety; but some are just a little different and just stood out more:

Paul did a fantastic job of packing, especially since we bought some souveniers larger than postcards.

We arrived home safely, even after threatening to stay longer. But now we are fighting the crud! Better to be home when that happens!


Yesterday we took the tour at the Eastern Shore RR Museum in Parksley. Since it did not open until noon, we checked out a couple of stores first. Shopping with Hailey is a great experience!! Whether at the local “5 and dime” (remember those?!! They still exist!!)

or the thrift store that benefits animals!!

At the RR museum we were able to go inside the restored cars.

Paul could not resist getting a little closer!

This morning, our little alarm clock, Tegan, woke up around 4 and then did not wake up until 7:30….so we missed the sunrise!
But yesterday’s was fantastic!

Today we made a trip to the antique mall that was about 12 miles from here. But since we are leaving tomorrow, the girls really needed to take naps today, so we did not plan on anything else!! Us big kids played Risk….guess who won AGAIN……
Be sure to check out Karyn’s blogspot for more on this week… especially of Hailey and Tegan!!