50 States Challenge: Virginia

Thursday, January 21, 2016

July 28 - July 29, 2012

Leesburg, Virginia

Eric and Heather's wedding in Leesburg Virginia on a breathtaking plantation was absolutely the fairy tale wedding the two high school sweethearts deserved.  I was reunited with grade school and high school friends and we danced and ate the night away.

I traveled down with two friends from grade school, Mike and Herbie, and Herbie's fiance Nicole.  The morning following the wedding, we decided to get some sightseeing in.  After a quick Internet search of the area, we discovered local memorial, Ball's Bluff.

Upon arrival, we quickly hit the trail in search of the battle's key areas.  This was my first Civil War site.  As as lifelong Pennsylvania resident, I am guilty of having never visited Gettysburg.  Ball's Bluff was my first piece of real Americana and I was stoked.

Walking down a beautifully graveled path surrounded by trees and tall blades of grass, we came upon Ball's Bluff National Cemetery where the remains of 54 Union soldiers rested.  There was a canon set up nearby so after dutifully bowing our heads, we commenced playing with the canon.

Following the trail, we made our way along, taking pictures until we made it to the beautiful Potomac River.  This was the stuff my American literature classes were made of.  I just wanted to touch this river (which I did; I'm a groper what can I say) and close my eyes and imagine what it was like for the Confederate and Union soldiers hiding in the waters or crossing it to get to the Battle at Ball's Bluff.

After playing around for a while, we headed back up the trail.  When we got back to the parking lot, we read some of the infographics about Virginia and the battle.   We rested on some of the benches and plotted our next adventure in West Virginia.

It was a quick trip, but an essential one.  One that led me to the Potomac River.

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