The Barefoot Photographer®

a photography blog

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sunken Road

I have been out of town for a few days. My hometown (so to speak) is Fredericksburg, Virginia. Actually I am from Stafford County -- but very close to the city. When anyone asks where I am from, I always answer Fredericksburg. Most people are familiar with Fredericksburg -- thanks a lot to Ken Burns and his excellent Civil War series on PBS. Fredericksburg and the surrounding area was the scene of some of the most intense fighting during the Civil War.

This house that still stands as it did during all of the fighting is known as Innis House. The house was terribly damaged by all of the fire around it. The exterior was repaired -- but one of the interior walls was left to show the intensity of the battle.
The Battle of Fredericksburg was a big one and took the lives of many Union soldiers. Sunken Road was the scene of the massacre. These photos on the blog today are from Sunken Road. They were taken on December 14 -- 147 years and one day after the bloody Battle of Fredericksburg. The day of the battle began as a foggy day -- just like the day I was there.
The park ranger I spoke with told me that they call this cat Kirkland. The cat is looking in the direction of a statue erected to commemorate the actions of Richard Rowland Kirkland. It is on the left behind the row of boxwoods, barely visible against the treeline. Kirkland, a South Carolina soldier, risked his life to take water and comfort the suffering, wounded Union soldiers as they lay dying. Kirkland was killed in battle in 1863. Kirkland the cat is sitting on the only original part of the rock wall left -- the other sections along Sunken Road have been reconstructed.
I have driven down Sunken Road often -- and I always would think about what had happened there. The park service has turned this part of town into a walking tour now -- no driving through. I have an old photo I took the last time I drove there (when it was still a city street). I need to find it.


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