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battlefield research

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After a relaxing Sunday of meal planning, grocery shopping, and good eating, we were ready to go
exploring on Monday. My dad is doing ongoing genealogy research and some of his information has
led him to one particular ancestor, his great-great-great-grandfather Private John P. Harris, who
fought in Civil War battles throughout our area. We started at the Spotsylvania Courthouse Battle-
field. A National Park Service Ranger was able to locate our ancestors regiment and show us his
groups position at every phase of the battle. We took note of the regiment, Company G of the 16th
NC Infantry, to take along with us to the other battlefields. We then toured the battlefield itself.
Of course, there is only a small portion you can actually cover by foot. Will's favorite thing was
the cannon!

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After finishing up there, we headed to downtown Fredericksburg to find out more about the Battle
of Fredericksburg. We didn't make it far along this route, but while we were there we looked in
the museum and Will got to see the cannon balls and we made the connection between the big
cannons and the balls. He was pretty excited! Pa-Pa showed him the battle map and he seemed
pretty interested. We walked along the Sunken Road, past the Innis House, and past the memorial
for "the Angel of Marye's Heights". The Innis House is pretty neat because you can look through
the windows and still see the bullet holes in the walls from the gunfire during the battle. It's
pretty cool! At this point, Will had pretty much had it with all the walking and rebelled by jump-
ing in a mud puddle, so we called it a day. It was an interesting day, and I was a little surprised
that I have lived in Virginia for 8 years and have never visited a single Civil War historical
sight, other than the Sunken Road. All of this history is right in our back yard. I can't wait to
show it all to Will when he gets older and can really understand what he is seeing. Thank you,
Daddy, for getting us out there!!

My dad wrote more about our adventures on his own blog.

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