The little airport in the town where I grew up built a new terminal (even though it has no air service). It houses administrative offices, and a large cafe. But the thing that makes it unique – or so they claim – it is the only airport terminal in the US that has a built-in brewery.
Anyway, I recently came across a brewery that has an “Artist-in-residence.” The Hook Hand Brewery & Taproom in Williamston, NC is such a place.
Spending Memorial Day at Fort Sumter where the Civil War began reminded me that the first celebrations of Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day occurred shortly after at the end of the War, and one of the most remarkable was here in Charleston.
Late in the war Union prisoners were held on the infield of the race track at the Charleston Jockey Club. Over 200 died during the time and were buried in a mass grave behind the grandstands.
Fort Sumter was built after the war of 1812 as one of a series of coastal port defenses and named after a Revolutionary war hero, General Thomas Sumter. But it entered history as the site of the first shot of the Civil War.
It is built on a constructed island formed of 70,000 tons of granite shipped from New York and Vermont. The newly created island was allowed to settle for several years before the brickwork began.
Some day I will summarize the causes of the Civil War and the events leading up to the firing on Fort Sumter, but the brief list is:
This is not a good place. This is Andersonville.
Between February, 1864 and the end of the Civil War Camp Sumter confined Union prisoners of war. Forty-five thousand came here, but only thirty-two thousand left. Thirteen-thousand died of malnutrition, exposure and rampant disease – a 29% death rate.
During the fourteen months Camp Sumter held prisoners, it was known as “Andersonville.”
This trip has been for planned two years. It was originally set for 2021, but Covid closed all the national parks and many campgrounds, so I headed west that summer.
I had visited the Civil War “Western Front” in 2020 — along the Tennessee, Cumberland and Mississippi rivers — Forts Donelson and Henry, Shiloh, Corinth and Vicksburg. This trip will pass through the Eastern front with stops at battlefields from Savannah to Gettysburg.
A Bit of Background
My maternal grandfather was born in the summer of 1863 in Louisiana. His father, a confederate soldier, was home on a 30-day furlough in 1862, and the following summer, while great-grandfather was fighting at Vicksburg, grandfather was born.
I left Portland on the 17th, and after a couple of stops found myself on US Highway 2 crossing the continental divide at Marais Pass south of Glacier National Park. US-2 parallels the Canadian border from Seattle to the Michigan UP. I would follow it as far as Duluth. Local residents call it the High Line.
This is the golden triangle of the Montana High Desert and is mostly flat and filled with thousands of square miles of wheat, barley, hay and other crops that can grow without irrigation.
After riding for the Pony Express, serving in the Union Army, scouting for the western military, gaining fame as an “indian fighter”, killing thousands of American Bison for the Kansas Pacific Railroad, and trying his skills as an actor on the Chicago stage, William F. Cody founded his Wild West Show in North Platte in 1983. The show toured the US and Europe until about 1909, and made Cody wealthy.
I have spent quite a bit of time sorting out the travel tools that are available for RV planning and travel. I will take a bit of time to talk about a few that for me are the more important ones.
This is my primary trip planning application. (Cost: $59 / Year)
I spent a night in the middle of the Bakken oil field – or more accurately, in the Walmart parking lot in Williston North Dakota – which really is in the middle of the oilfield. To remind you, Williston is/was the boom town that more than doubled in size in a few months when energy companies started exploiting the oil shale deposits. Oil was to be found everywhere. Prices went through the roof. Oil workers were sleeping anywhere they could find a bed. Investors built thousands of apartments.
When I was in high school I was enamored by broadway shows – Carrousel, Oklahoma, Sound of Music, but in redneck southern Illinois I never got to see one. But topping them all was the Music Man, and I got a copy of the movie soundtrack when I was a college freshman. I played it over and over, fell in love with Marian and even knew the “Trouble” monologue. I have not thought about it in years.