Written by Rick


  1. Shannon

    HI Rick as always great writing and quite the history lesson. Sadly it seems we never learn from the past. Thank you for taking the time to share your travels.

    1. Rick

      Hi Shannon,

      Thanks, I’m glad you enjoyed the report! This trip was a real eye-opener, even though I’ve been very familiar with the Antietam and Gettysburg battles for a long time. Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg always struck me as an incredibly poor decision by Robert E. Lee, but I hadn’t been aware of the equally senseless charges ordered at Fredericksburg by Ambrose Burnside.

      Interestingly, as Pickett’s forces were charging across the open field at Gettysburg, the Union defenders were shouting, “Fredericksburg! Fredericksburg!” as a rallying cry to avenge their massive losses at the earlier battle.


  2. Vicky Garrett

    Rick dear friend, this article with pictures and drawings was beautifully written -also incredibly informative – am reading just days after the shooting in Buffalo – almost impossible to believe we are still where we we are in terms of racial equality – that final story about the elderly slave mother was simply appalling.
    Thank you so much!

    1. Rick

      Hi Vicky!

      Thanks much—I’m glad you liked the trip report. I agree 100% regarding racial equality. We’ve come so far compared to where things stood when we were growing up, but there still seems like a long way to go.

      Hope to see you in June!


  3. Ben Gottlieb

    Excellent pictures and even better writing. In 2011 and 2012, my wife Joann and I went on two 5-day 4-night trips studying Civil War battles. The northern trip covered Antietam and Gettysburg, but the southern trip the following year mirrored your recent trip report. My memory isn’t what it used to be, but your report helped remind me of the trip ten years ago. Thanks for your report. I plan to forward it to a few friends with your permission.

    1. Rick

      Hi Ben,

      Great, thank you! By all means, feel free to forward the report to any and all. (Maybe warn them that it’s 9,000 words!)

      I spent all day just in Fredericksburg, but I’ll be back before long to visit the sites of the Chancellorsville and Wilderness battles. Including the cemetery where Stonewall Jackson’s arm is buried…


  4. David Lynch

    Rick I’m saddened again at the horrors of war, and abuse of so many fine human souls.

    I read a lot about the Civil War as a very young child, while living in Maryland and then Virginia. I saw daguerreotypes of the horrible scenes. I saw a little of the horrors of war and thought of the photographers who were such heroes to develop those plates on the edge of the battlefield

    I had no idea how massive the armies were, and how many casualties. I stood on battlefields with my family, and admired the green beauty I saw there. The sketches and photos say otherwise.

    Thank you for this tale and so many more. Thanks for taking the Merc to prepare for your writing. And thanks specially for your fine words and photos. Hat’s off to you sir.

    If you go on rougher roads you may need all terrain tires for that Merc, and a lifted suspension.


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