Friday, April 22, 2016

Another Battlefield - When Will It All End?

Moving fast – there ain't no dust on me. I moved up to the north part of the state to Piney Campground. I think it is managed by the Department of Agriculture and is located in the Land Between The Lakes, which is pretty close to the Kentucky border. Nearest town is Dover, Tennessee for those following along in their atlases.

This campground is huge, I think there are about 400 campsites but the campsites are spacious and fairly far apart. When I got to my first site, two gentlemen popped out and proceeded to try to help me back in. I am a fairly good backer and while I appreciate the thought, I would rather do it myself. I trust me more than two strangers. It was nice of them though. I got backed in, and try as I might, could not get level. I then spotted the most perfect site, just down the road. Only problem I had to wait until the people in it were leaving. They were in the process of packing up and it was so hard not to be a vulture, just waiting, waiting, waiting. Finally they were gone, I moved over there (my two helpers appeared again to 'help' me back in). I have space, I have a beach right on the river and I'm level. I am just sad that I am only here for two nights.

My site on Kentucky Lake which is really the Tennessee River

My Beach or perhaps I should call it Miko's Beach

Piney Campground has got to be the most friendly campground I have ever been in. When I go out and walk the dog, it probably takes me an hour to get 100 yards. Everybody calls out, asks how you are doing and invites you to sit down and 'jaw' awhile. When you go out walking, you tended to run into somebody and ended up walking a ways with them. It was very enjoyable talking with all these people, but being the solitary person that I am, it did get to be a bit wearing. I can only handle so much sociability. Miko, of course, is loving all the attention.  She is becoming quite the rock star and she knows it.
I am here to see Fort Donalson, a National Battlefield and a National Cemetery. This land between the lakes was a crucial target in the Civil War. If the Union could take control of the area, they would cut off two major river ways and the main supply line railroad to the south. This particular battle happened just a few months before Shiloh which I talked about last blog. Again, it was a case of Confederate incompetence. They got themselves boxed in, they decided to get themselves out of their box, beat back the Yankees and then once the way out was open, they retreated back into their box instead of busting out. Lets just say that the Confederate leadership was somewhat lacking. It ended up with the surrender of 13,000 Confederates who were all shipped up north to Prisoner of War camps.

Fun Fact:  The general on the Union side was U.S. Grant.  When General Buckner (confederate) sent a message to Grant asking him what the terms of surrender would be, Grant responded by saying "No terms except an unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted"  From this point on, the media all said that the U.S. in his name stood for Unconditional Surrender Grant.  This particular battle put Grant on the fast track for Hero-dom.

Dover Hotel also called the Surrender House  where Buckner surrendered to Grant

Let me just say one thing about what I called Confederate incompetence. Part of the problem was that the Confederacy was a bunch of states, each of which thought of themselves as a sovereign entity. They hadn't quite figured out how to work together and they also didn't trust one another. If Georgia called for reinforcements, Alabama felt no need to supply them. This was true for all of the Confederacy. It took them some time to figure out what was needed. The other problem was that many of the Confederate command had absolutely no military experience. They still gave the Union a run for their money, but they started out with a lot of cards stacked against them.

No comments:

Post a Comment