Riding to History in Virginia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by The Virginian, Feb 5, 2019.

  1. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    I have a mess going on in several bike specific threads focused on historical sites I ride to so I thought I would start a thread and blend them all together. You will see me posting many different bikes from a Vespa, Harley to a a recent Husqvarna.

    I rode out to Stonewall Jackson's Shrine but it was closed today 02/19 so some of these pics are a couple years old.

    Just over the railroad tracks is the entrance to the Shrine.
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    Very nice entry way into the park.
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    What's significant about this area regarding General Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson is he was wounded by friendly fire in Chancellorsville, VA, died in Guinea, VA, and he was buried at Lexington, VA. More on that later...
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  2. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    A few pics...
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    In this very house is where he died.
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    Interesting dual chimneys.
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    Visitor's log, they had many volumes of them on the shelf. I asked how many visitors they get and the curator relied about 100 a day year round.
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  3. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Very cool well at this house.
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    The site is located right next to the railroad and the RR owned this land for many years and donated it to the National Parks and Monuments in 1937. Very cool!
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    This is the waiting room where General Jackson's surgeons and doctors discussed what to do.
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    This is the room that General Jackson passed away in. This is the original bed he laid in and the comforter at the end of the bed is original as well. I do not know what the deal is with the washing bowl with the woven string hanging out of it?
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  4. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Underneath the bed is a Bed T, this was used to tighten the ropes of the sub mattress.
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    In this picture there's two items that stand out to me. One is the clock on the mantle and the other is the small glass globe on the tiny table.
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    The clock was put in his room when his health was imminent, the neighboring home's Mrs. brought it over to hopefully provide some sort of comfort when he was dying.
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    The tiny glass globe was heated by candles and placed on peoples chest that had pneumonia. Yes, Gen. Jackson had pneumonia as well, the night before he slept on the ground. Anywho, they would heat this globe up to the point of burning the patient. It was thought back then that it would draw the infection to the surface. Many, many soldiers had round burn marks on their chest and back.
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    The sofa his wife rested on during his last days.
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  5. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Upstairs is where his staff stayed.
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    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson was buried in Lexington, VA where where he was a teacher at VMI. The curator said he was probably the most disliked teacher at VMI as he was a Professor of Natural and Experimental Philosophy and Instructor of Artillery. His arm that was amputated is a whole different chapter to read about.

    I delved too far into the weeds of history here and I'll get back on topic or riding and documenting. This part of American history is near and dear to my heart. Many if not all of in the men my family died in the civil war. Only one survived and of all things he was a union soldier. The first of my family to migrate to America from Sweden. Like many families in the south, sometimes brothers fought against brothers. If this man didn't survive the civil war I wouldn't be here today.

    So the point or moral of this story is if you have any family members that are retired or active in the service globally, not just here in the USA, make it a point to thank them and understand their personal sacrifice. 151 years later I have the utmost respect for this man. Below is his honorable discharge from the army accompanied by a letter typed by his wife about the man's life post mortem.
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    Here' an interesting letter from his wife about his life. I think(?) these folks would be my great, great grandparents?
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    Thomas Jonathan "Stonewall" Jackson's final words:

    “Let us cross over the river and rest under the shade of the trees.”

    Thanks for reading,

    Eric
    #5
  6. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    I see this old church and do an about face to take a few pics. I make a u-turn at this RR crossing.
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    Wow! What a incredible structure from centuries ago.
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    It is humbling at some of the age of these Virginians.
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    A little further down the road a farmer must of lost a load of horse shit off his wagon. It covered the entire lane and I tried to ride though the tire tracks of the car in front of me. :( My bike and I smelled like butt sauce the rest of the day. :topes
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    Riding through Culpeper, VA I happened upon this vert old cemetery with General Edward Stevens buried here. :queenie:queenie:brow

    Stevens began his military career as a lieutenant colonel in the 1775 Battle of Great Bridge where he commanded a battalion of riflemen, the Culpeper Minutemen. Stevens distinguished himself in the battle and was given a command as colonel of the 10th Virginia Regiment. Stevens raised and equipped his regiment and marched to rendezvous with General George Washington, his direct commander. Stevens's command had their first engagement at the Battle of Brandywine where the regiment did not enter the battle until the American forces had begun to retreat. Stevens troops covered the retreat and prevented the British from pursuing. Stevens received the public praise of Washington after both Brandywine and the subsequent Battle of Germantown.

    Stevens became a Brigadier General in the Virginia Militia. Stevens saw his first action as a general at the Battle of Camden. Before the battle Stevens complained that his "militia will not be satisfied with what regular troops well off with." At the council of war before the battle, Stevens advised "It is too late to retreat now; we must fight. Stevens's statement is thought to have convinced Horatio Gates to engage the British rather than retreat. The battle did not go well, and Stevens considered resigning, but Nathanael Greene convinced Stevens to continue his service.
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    I was unable to find his gravestone so just a couple pics.
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    This pic as I rode around the ellipse stood out to me.
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    Dallas A Compton

    A warm friend
    A manly man
    A slave to duty


    Headed to the Blue Ridge Mountains
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    VA makes it easy to see the wonderful history of our state. Just look for these signs as they are everywhere.
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    Passing through the tiny sleepy town of Flint Hill.
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  7. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Things to come! Next stop FrontRoyal, VA! :drink
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    How Front Royal, VA got it's name.
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    What's interesting about Front Royal is it truly was the crossroads or main path from the north from Cumberland Gap to the south. It was thought that the south would loose the war if they lost this corridor.
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    I was unable to get any pics of the bike in these photos as I had to park a block away. :/
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    Confederate Memorial Museum, AKA Warren Rifles.
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  8. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Confederate uniforms were color coded. Yellow trim was calvary, artillery was red, and blue was infantry.
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    There was no cameras allowed in this museum but I sneaked a few.
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    The Pegram flag saw a lot of battle...
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  9. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    On this battle flag the names of lost men were written on it as they progressed.
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    Major Robert H. Simpson, one of Front Royal's finest.
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    On September 23rd 1899, 7 of Col. John Singleton Mosby's men surrendered and were executed under the orders of Brigadier General George Armstrong Custard; yes, the same Custard that died at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

    What was highly unusual during this period about Brigadier General George Armstrong Custard was his newlywed bride, he dressed her up in blues and took her on his campaigns. Meet Elizabeth Bacon.
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    The point of this that is (maybe noteworthy) that to this day many Front Royal folks have a hatred for Gen. Armstrong. He executed 7 POWs, one was a young man that happen to ride along with Mosby's men that day when they were captured.

    Six captive Rangers involved in the fight at Front Royal were captured and condemned to die. As a band slowly marched through Front Royal playing the dead march, the six prisoners were led to their deaths. Two Rangers, David Jones and Lucian Love, were shot in front of a church and left to die in their own blood. While that was occurring, Thomas Anderson was marched to an elm tree south of the town and shot.

    A pair of horsemen next rode through Front Royal's main streets, dragging 17-year-old civilian Henry Rhodes behind them with a rope. His crying mother tried to save the nearly unconscious boy, but her pleas were ignored. Rhodes was dragged to an open field north of town, where he was shot in the face by a volunteer who 'emptied his pistol upon him.' His body, dumped in a wheel-barrow and covered with a sheet, was left at his mother's door.

    Four of Mosby’s men were shot, but two including Overby were hanged, having refused to reveal the location of Mosby’s headquarters. Near Berryville a month and a half later, on November 7, Mosby ordered the execution of seven captured Federals, most of them from Custer’s command, in retribution.

    Every Halloween party that i go to with my family in Front Royal invariably someone dresses up as Gen. Custard. ;)
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    (More to come tomorrow)

    Thanks for reading,

    Eric
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  10. sealsam

    sealsam Sam...I am. Supporter

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    :nono

    The hell you do Eric!

    Everything you have posted on the many different subjects, whether bikes or history or whatever, is always with top notch thought and background. This thread has long been overdue my friend. All the best with what will be one epic thread I'm sure.

    I'm staying tuned in for what is next.:thumb

    :lurk
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  11. MYUMPH

    MYUMPH 'Ol Timer Supporter

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    :type
    I agree with Sam-keep it coming neighbor!
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  12. popscycle

    popscycle Fahren Away Super Supporter

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    Love the history stuff! Thanks for posting!!
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  13. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Thank you Sam.

    Thanks!

    There's a ton coming! I believe your thread sir sets the bar for all others!
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  14. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    No civil war sites this week. I was blasting down some country roads and stopped at this park. Weird, It's called Spilman Park which seems to have the remains of a stone chimney and that's about it...

    Located in the northern end of the county, Spilman Park is one of the best kept secrets of Culpeper County. Nestled in the rural and natural setting of Jefferson District, the park was developed east of the noteworthy Spilman Homestead. The history of the homestead settlement can be read in detail from an interpretative panel, located south of the lone standing chimney. The chimney signifies the last remains of the homestead. The park offers the community both active and passive recreational opportunities.
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    Complete with it's own Don's Jon's. lol
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  15. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Hunting season has started and the weather has been amazing so I opted to take the CTX down for some archery this past weekend.
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    The game plan was to take all back roads to and from so roughly here's the route I took.
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    The bike all loaded down with my stuff.
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    On a side note here, when the CTX hits reserve your odometer reads how many miles left till your out of fuel. Typically it starts around 43 miles left on my bike.
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    I still love these old gas station stops. Bonus points because there's usually something yummy to eat in places like this. I guess I'm not a MTO Sheetz kind of guy.
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    I weave my way over to the bridge to cross the Rappahannock River in Tappahanock, VA. That's a mouthfull...
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    I finally make it to Hunting Camp in Heathsville, VA where I've hunted turkey and whitetail for 30 years, This home is over a hundred years old but it has a bathroom and heat so I can't complain.
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    #15
  16. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    No real hunting pics here but a few parting shots. The soy beans haven't been cut so the grocery store is still open for critters.
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    Hmmm... coyote are getting bad in these parts...
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    While in Heathsville I did a little exploring.

    Heathsville Historic District is a national historic district located at Heathsville, Northumberland County, Virginia. The district includes 81 contributing buildings, 12 contributing sites, 4 contributing structures, and 4 contributing objects in the county seat of Northumberland County. It is an assemblage of residential, commercial, and government buildings dating from the 18th through 20th centuries in a variety of popular architectural styles. The linear district is centered on the courthouse square. Notable buildings include the Northumberland Court House (1851, 1900-1901), the old county jail (1844), the former Methodist Protestant Church (c. 1855-60), Harding House, Belleville, Heathsville Masonic Lodge No. 109 (1894), Bank of Northumberland (1924), and the Heathsville United Methodist Church (1894). Located in the district and separately listed are Rice's Hotel, Oakley, St. Stephen's Church, Sunnyside, and The Academy.[3]

    This is the old jail form 1700s? Can you imagine being shacked outside in one of these?

    There's a book I've been meaning to read about this jail called The old Jail and the Magic Brick written by Susan Anthony-Tolbert.
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  17. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Driving through town I have seen this gas station for 30 years. They offer full service for .80 cents more a gallon. They clean the windshield, top off your oil and check your air in your tires. Amazing a place like this can still survive in today's world.
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    As the sun was setting I decided to ride out to one of my favorite places to to eat. Horn Harbor Restaurant which offers very fresh seafood and prime rib measured in 3 sizes, Pebbles, Wilma and the Fred. Good God don't order the Fred, it's literally hanging off the plate! I ordered the seafood Au Gratin with scallops, blue crab and shrimp. Yum!
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    These interesting facts were on the table mat.
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    Newport seafood
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    Packed up and headed home thinking about my next adventure on two wheels.
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    Life is short, enjoy the ride!

    Thanks for reading,

    Eric
    #17
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  18. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Just some fall updates to take a gander at.
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    Cool morning so the lake was a little foggy.
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  19. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    Today was another unseasonably warm day I took the CTX over to Monticello, VA, home of Thomas Jefferson our 3rd U.S. president, not to sight see but to take one of my rifles actions to be worked on by my gunsmith. ;) I'll revisit this area probably this summer and do a small write up on the area. There's a lot of history here and gorgeous area to ride though. A lot of wine country if that's your thing.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monticello
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    I had no problems with the cops despite having bending the speed limits slightly. I broke the ton mark just to see how she handled. At an indicated 125 mph she stayed glued to the road and sure footed, in fact it felt like she wanted to pull some more. I should also mention that the speedometer is true to the actual speed verified by my GPS at just about any speed. After I came down out of the mountains and rode into the sunset for a few hours, it got very dark and a bit chilly. I had opted for the Warm & Safe heated jacket, figuring I'd rather be comfortable most of the day. I warmed my hands on the OEM hand warmers I installed of my trusty steed, which ran like a champ all day and didn't miss a beat. Out in the farmlands in Central Virginia, with no city lights or towns for miles in any direction, riding alone into a moonless night, I'm godsmacked at the beauty of the stars and felt blessed to be able to have this experience. There is something amazing about being on a fine bike, alone in the night with your thoughts.
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  20. The Virginian

    The Virginian Long timer

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    That clears up the CTX adventures, now the Vespa updates.

    A couple of random pics on the way home from that day.
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    I stopped in a coffee shop in Mineral and they had keychains for sale and one was blue. lol No! I didn't buy it.
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    Love this time of year!
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    #20