Thursday, January 13, 2011

Lexington, Virginia and Stonewall Jackson

On the road trip home from New York, we made a few stops in Virginia (including the Booker T. Washington National Monument and Home). We also spent the better part of a day in Lexington, Virginia.

I loved Lexington! Ryan and I really loved walking around the town. We both agreed to add it to our "short list" of places we'd like to live.

It has a very quaint Stars Hollow (the fictional town of Gilmore Girls) feel to it.

It is a town rich with historical significance and military background. It is home to the Virginia Military Institute, which was founded in the early 1800's and played an important role in the Civil War. This picture was taken on our walk around downtown.

Our main objective was a visit to the Stonewall Jackson Home and Museum. This picture was taken from behind the house. It is located right on the cute street in the pictures at the top. Photography isn't allowed inside the home. We enjoyed our tour, though, from the nice young man who shared many tidbits of trivia about Stonewall and his life.

the kitchen garden

We didn't get to go inside, but this is the Robert E. Lee home. The Washington and Lee University, a liberal arts school is located all around here, as well. Lee's (and Traveller's) grave sites are located on the campus.

"The Last Home of Traveller, through war and peace the faithful, devoted, and beloved horse of General Robert E. Lee"

We walked to the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery.

This is his burial site and monument. Interesting fact: his amputated left arm is buried elsewhere. Here is another fact I found interesting:

Who shot General Jackson?
Jackson died as a result of "friendly fire." He was shot at Chancellorsville on May 2, 1863, by an unknown member or members of the 18th North Carolina Infantry Regiment; he died on May 10. The order to fire was given by Maj. John D. Barry, and many of his men fired at the same time. Jackson was struck by three smoothbore musket balls. Barry died two years after the war at the age of 27; his family believed his death was a result of the depression and guilt he suffered as a consequence of having given the order to fire.

I was curious why there were lemons lying around so I googled it while we were there. Apparently, it is a myth that lemons were his favorite fruit, and people leave them here to honor him. There is no documentation to prove he loved lemons more than any other fruit; he was just seen eating them several times during the war as they were easy to come by.

We bought this antique-style ink bottle and pen at the gift shop. I thought it would be fun for the kids to play with.

We also bought these ink tablets. They are non-toxic and actually more environmentally friendly than regular ink because they are made from sugarcane. You just add water.

There were no instructions, so I'm not entirely sure I added the right number of tablets to the right amount of water. Even so, we got to practice what it was like to go without the modern convenience of plastic ink pens. There are lots of youtube videos to explain how to make your own pen and ink, but our bag of ink tablets were only a few dollars. That's my 5 year old's hand.

Sissy was very exact at first, practicing her letters and even pretending to write in flowy cursive.

Then she realized she could use it as "splatter paint," and that kind of took over.

Tornado was trying to draw a picture from his magazine, complete with his "To Mom" that he writes on almost all of his drawings. They had more luck using wooden skewers, rather than the wooden dip pen, which takes some practice.

I'm really looking forward to us reading these books I ordered:

JIM LIMBER <span class=

Both books are written by Rickey Pittman. Stonewall Jackson was known to be a friend to all people, regardless of color. He went against the law to teach slaves to read and write, and he stood up against backlash he received when starting a Sunday School class for slaves. And yet he owned a few slaves, believing that no matter how he felt about it personally, it was ordained by God. The same with Jefferson Davis, who apparently even welcomed a mistreated slaved to live as a part of his family. It's an intriguing (and baffling) topic to me, as is the entire Civil War. (I love the aspect of homeschooling that provokes me to learn so much myself.) Joining in on the Geography/History Link-Up at Children Grow, Children Explore, Children Learn, stART (story+art) at A Mommy's Adventures, Read, Explore, Learn at JDaniel4's Mom, and Field Trip Friday at Live the Adventure.


JDaniel4's Mom said...

I love visiting Lexington. What a great place to explore! The books look great too.

Thanks for linking to Read.Explore.Learn.

Diane said...

To answer your question, Alpha Omega has Bible packets for every grade level from K-12. There are 10 packets for the year but you can pick and choose which you wish to purchase. I would recommend going on and do a search for lifepace Bible then whatever grade you are looking for.

Debbie said...

You have had such a great trip. Lexington looks like a neat place to see! Thank you for linking up this week.

Tonya @ Live the Adventure said...

Lexington was one of the places we'd wanted to visit when we were in Virginia with my huband's job. Sadly, we never made it and now that I've seen your pictures I'm really disappointed! Oh well, maybe one day. Thanks for linking up to Field Trip Friday and sharing such an interesting and educational adventure! :)