I just got back from DC. The Hayfoot and I had a good time. Being in the nation’s capitol on Memorial Day Weekend is always special. It was a great beginning to the summer. For starters, I have made it my goal to dedicate Memorial through Labor Day to reading novels and short stories, fiction being something I have gotten away from in recent years. To that end, I kicked off by reading John Williams’s 1965 Stoner on the bus ride up ad down. It is sort of The Death of Ivan Ilych if the protagonist were a frustrated academic living in Middle America in the early to mid twentieth century. I think this fiction thing is going to work out well; there is a lot of literature, in different genres, I wasn’t ready for as a younger person that I think will speak to me now.
I also got an interesting email from my sister on Saturday. She received a phone call out of the blue from a woman who is distantly related to us. I began my genealogy in earnest about a year ago and have become something of the de facto family historian. My sister gave me the woman’s contact information and I intend to call her now that I am back in town.
As I mentioned the other day, we planned to visit the Old Soldiers Home/Lincoln Cottage on Saturday. We did, and had a great time. The wife surprised me by arranging a visit to Manassas on Sunday with some friends of ours. I had never visited Bull Run before. It was a special day.
Here, quickly, are a few pics from the weekend.
President and Mrs. Lincoln spent more than a quarter of their time at the Old Soldiers Home. The Home, the grounds of which include the presidential cottage, lies about 3 1/2 miles north of the White House. Here Lincoln was able to get away somewhat from the city’s oppressive heat and endless stream of supplicants asking for favors.
There was little respite, however. In a painful reminder of the war’s human cost, this cemetery was within sight of the cottage. From the window of his study Lincoln could see the graves adding up.
This monument atop Henry Hill was dedicated in June 1865 and was one of the very first constructed.
A living history unit representing the 14th Brooklyn was in attendance.
The 14th was one of many New York zouave units at both First and Second Manassas. In July 2011 I blogged about the rededication of the New York monuments at Bull Run during the Centennial fifty years ago. It meant a lot to finally see them in person.
Overall it was some weekend. Thank you honey, and to everyone else who made it happen.