Lanie, Josefina and Bridget went travelling! This was their first trip, so there was a lot of excitement in the car. (Well it was their first trip except for when they travelled to Emily’s house…but they all came in a boxes by themselves and said it wasn’t very fun.) When we pulled up to the first monument, they were so excited they rushed up stairs and had a race to get to the top.
At least it started out as a race, by the first set of stairs Bridget was having a hard time keeping up. The other two waited for her. Lanie said it was a lot easier to walk up the slope than all those stairs!
Just keep going one step at a time Bridget!
They finally got to the top and started examining the monument.
“What does it say, Lanie?” asked Bridget.
“I’m not sure.” said Lanie “I can’t see the top very well. I’m too short! Can you read it Josefina? You are standing farther back.”
Josefina said she could read it and told them what it said.
“1862! wow that was a long time ago” Bridget was very impressed.
They checked and there was more engraving on that back. The dolls were rather sober. It was a very serious thought to think about how many men had died there on both sides.
After the monument, they saw a cannon. Since they had never seen a cannon before, it seemed like something that needed to be investigated.
“I think the junior ranger booklet said this back part of the cannon is called a “Cascable” said Bridget as she examined it.
“Where is the breech?” asked Lanie. After some discussion they decided that it was at the bottom of the cannon.
“I’ll keep a look out for the Enemy!” cried Josefina pretending to be surveying the surrounding woods for hostile forces.
“I’ll sight in the cannon. Give me the range, Lanie!” hollered Bridget.
“Range mark….Bearing mark….” said Lanie in a funny deep voice.
You’re facing the wrong way to pick a target!” laughed Josefina “You can’t shoot a cannon behind you. ”
“If I stand up to turn around I might fall off and bump my head! and you are looking the wrong way too!” teased Lanie.
“Do they really say “range mark”…”bearing mark” for cannons? I thought that was just submarines?” asked Bridget.
The other two weren’t sure. But they decided that both torpedoes and cannons were big things, that shot other big things so maybe you said the same thing when sighting them.
After they finished examining the cannon from all angles, they got back in the car to drive to the next stop on the tour.
At the next stop there was a sign describing what happened there.
The problem was that the sign was too tall! They tried standing on each other’s shoulders. But no matter who was the one on the bottom… they couldn’t handle two on top. One they could do! but two on your shoulders… got too wobbly.
So they gave up and climbed the fence for the fun of it instead, there were more places to grab a hold.
Success! They wanted a picture so they could show the other dolls at home.
The next stop had a sign that was bigger. They scaled the railings and read it aloud.
Since the sign was so wide, Bridget read the left half and Lanie read the right half.
“See if you can find where it says how many men camped here.” Josefina said. She was studying the junior ranger booklet.
It took them a few minutes but they found the answer. After that they clustered around the booklet to see what the next question was.
“How many more questions do we have to fill out? asked Bridget.
“I think we just need to go see the river batteries and view the cabin” replied Josefina.
“I want to go see the cabin now. We can finish looking at the booklet later” Lanie exclaimed.
“Howdy neighbour! welcome to our house.” Bridget joked with Lanie.
“Thankee ma’am. I just need to borrow a cup a sugar.” Lanie played along.
The dolls thought the cabin was fascinating. It was not nearly as big as most people houses. However they all agreed they didn’t want to live here all the time. Too much dirt on the floor and rough walls, but as a play house it would be fun.
When they left the cabin they took a wrong turn and ended up by the river but not by the cannon batteries. Lanie wanted to know why they were called batteries…but the others didn’t know either. Josefina shot down the only idea Bridget had when she said she was pretty sure cannon’s didn’t run on batteries.
It was so beautiful, they didn’t mind that they took the wrong turn.
They watched the river float by for a while.
They couldn’t stay too long, because Emily had to be at a ceremony by a certain time. They needed to finish up their junior ranger booklet.
There was a neat stone wall by the cannon placements by the river.
“Do you think these are cannon slots?” asked Bridget as she peered in the hole from the top.”
“No they are too narrow.” Lanie answered.
“For musket’s then?” Bridget inquired further.
“No I don’t think this is even an original wall.”
“Oh that makes more sense. I thought they seemed a little short for fort walls. The soldiers would have had to crawl in order to be protected by them.”
The cannons at the river battery site were MUCH bigger than the cannon they saw earlier.
“Those would be really scary if they were shooting at you. It is a good thing no one ever expects dolls to defend the country.” said Josefina.
“Oh I don’t know” replied Lanie “We wouldn’t be good soldiers, but I think we could make pretty good spies. No one would ever suspect of doll of espionage.”
“What is that word you just said?” called down Bridget from the top of the sign. She had been reading to them about how the gunboats were knocked out of commission, because of the forts higher elevation from the river.
“Espionage….It is a fancy word for spying” Lanie told her.
They were discussing spies…and what they would do if they were spies as they wandered over to look at the big cannon barrel that was laying on the ground. They decided they would probably be good spies. Among other reasons, they were small so they could hide easily. Lanie did point out the fact that being small was also a disadvantage…such as the difficulties in travelling long distance or even climbing stairs for that matter. Then the conversation turned back to cannons.
Lanie wanted to know if there was a cannon ball in there. Lanie is not one to just wonder. She likes to find out things for sure…. consequently she stuck her head in the cannon barrel. This was done despite Josefina advising that wasn’t a good idea. Lanie was determined. She just knew Nellie was going to ask her if there were any cannon balls in the cannons when she got home. She had to find out! Josefina was envisioning having to call a park ranger to get Lanie’s head out if it got stuck….that would be very hard to explain.
Fortunately Lanie didn’t get her head stuck…just got her nose a little dirty and sneezed some. She reported that there wern’t any cannon balls up there…just dirt.
They posed for a picture on the cannon barrel…(Bridget said to hurry up and take the picture because she was slipping!)
Then they went to go see the old hotel were the Confederate general Buckner surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant.
Josefina said it was a very small hotel. However she did think it was neat that it was so old and still standing.
Inside the hotel there were some fascinating displays that told them more about the battle. Unfortunately there wasn’t room to take good pictures inside. They all took special care to remember it all, so they could tell the dolls at home about the battle! (which they did as you can read here)
They wanted me to take one final picture before we left. Josefina did at least. Bridget and Lanie were getting tired and were ready to go.
They wanted me to ask if perhaps anyone else that reads this blog had been to fort Donelson? or if not there, Have you been to any other civil war battlefields?