Bumpy roads, construction and history filled my last two weeks. My family and I enjoy history, so we spent our time in Virginia and Pennsylvania visiting a variety of historical sights. With Poplar Forest and Monticello, we were able to see Thomas Jefferson’s homes and the way he tinkered and refined ideas he found elsewhere. At Appomattox Court House, I saw how a broken nation started to put itself back together again on paper and in practice. From there, it was on to Sailor’s Creek where a son of Robert E. Lee was captured and could not get himself taken to a prison camp no matter what he did. Then it was up to Gettysburg for another visit. My family began visiting there shortly after I wrote a state report on Pennsylvania for school. My simple words then prompted my dad’s vast interest in the Civil War.
Using a book called The Complete Guide to Gettysburg, I was able to track down an engraving left by soldiers revisiting the battlefield in 1889. They scratched their initials onto the bricks of the McPherson barn west of town. These simple little letters are a testament that has withstood the weathering of time. It’s breathtaking to see how something little can endure.