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Amputations in the Home!

Posted by on July 11, 2008

Robin was a bit stiff in the neck yesterday so she opted not to take a ride with me. She stayed back in the RV while I decided to motor the Goldwing down the highway to see something of a historical nature. As I left I-95 and headed down Route 701 it appeared that every rural part in this area of North Carolina is either planted in tobacco or soybeans regardless of the age of the, nature, or aspect of the surrounding countryside. I had to shoot this one to the journey’s end.barntractor1.jpgThat destination was Bentonville Battlefield, originally the home and plantation of the Cook family. It was the last battle of great “war between the states” as it is known south of the Mason-Dixon line. It’s just a short drive east of Interstate 95 at exit 90 in NC.  After General Wm. Tecumseh Sherman destroyed everything in his path on the way to burning Atlanta, he turned his troops north.  His plan was to finish off the Confederate Army in his march toward Richmond.  The drive was a pleasant one as peach stands and signs for “boiled peanuts” dotted the landscape.  I find that I cannot pass up those “boiled peanuts“.  Arriving at the plantation where the Cook family once resided the first thing that caught my eye was  this gnarly tree, of which I still don’t know it’s name, but I liked it nonetheless.gnarlytree1.jpgWhat you are about to see are a series of photos taken inside the home which stands as it did during 1865.  But try and put yourself into the Cook family’s are a relatively well off family, living a normal life, albeit a war has been going on around you for four years. Then one day, a foreign army marches onto your land and takes possession of it.  A battle ensues on and around the acreage that you own.  The foreign army decides that your home is the perfect staging place to establish a field hospital to care for their wounded soldiers.desk.jpg Your family of eleven has to move upstairs into four small bedrooms to eat, sleep, play, and carry on their daily lives.bedroom.jpgMeanwhile, downstairs in your home, daily amputations are taking place, the smell of dead skin and death permeating your senses.cuttingtable.jpgI tried to put myself into their place. I just couldn’t imagine having to live like this with my family, let alone a foreign army taking over my home.instruments.jpgI noticed a handwritten letter on the table. I hope you can read this. Its over a hundred and fifty years old yet well preserved.letter.jpgHere are other photos taken in the four rooms downstairs that saw over 600 wounded soldiers in the short span of this battle. utensils2.jpgmoreutensils.jpg Thousands of books have been printed about the Civil War and I have been a student of the conflict for many a year. However, it wasn’t until I visited this home that I actually was able to transcend time and put myself in the place of this family and realize that romanticizing war is an injustice to young readers and students.bloodyapron.jpgThis Bentonville Battlefield visit was a moving experience for me. I’ve visited many Civil War monuments, places, battlefield and cemeteries in the past. But this one placed a different emphasis on the civilian side of the story. I thought about this for sometime on the way home.  That is until I found another stand that said, “Boiled Peanuts” sold here.    

One Response to Amputations in the Home!

  1. Debbie

    Very moving, brings it all alive, and like I’ve said before, you need to seriously consider your writing and photography in a new way….and what exactly do boiled peanuts taste like? Keep the adventures coming……..I check in several times daily.

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