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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Arkansas Civil War 150- Gaze and GrazeIII

We began our Saturday with Carl's wonderful pancakes and bacon breakfast.  Carl was able to go with us on our first stop of the day.  Andrew and I were sad that Carl and Kaitlin could not join us for the whole trip, but alas, the real world of jobs and working got in their way.
We took our third picture at the beginning of our tour.  We are at the Old State House Museum in Little Rock.  The State House used to have a statue on top but it mysteriously disappeared one night!  The buildings that you see, did house the three branches of the government, here in LR, in three separate buildings that were soon joined together with walkways and then they were enclosed

Andrew loves canon and we saw lots of them.
Here is our wonderful guide at the State House.  She is a retired history teacher.  I don't remember her name but she was great.  Lots of information but the best thing she did was handle a jerk of a guy who joined our tour.  Jerkface man taunted her about the way we pronounce the name of our state.  JF was from Kansas and they know how to say it there.  He also made a few comments about the backward ways of the South.  Really, Really!!  Our wonderful tour guide handled JF with grace and never was flustered, me on the other not so much, Andrew jumped between me and JF because Andrew was afraid of what I would do to JF.  I took some deep breaths and moved to the other side of the group.

Our wonderful tour guide is standing in the room that housed the legislative branch of our government. This is the room that they voted to secede.  Tennessee was the Confederate state with the most Union soldiers and Arkansas had the second most.  Arkansas had just been a state for 30 years before the Civil War so there were not a lot of slaves in our state. There were more slaves in the Delta and Coastal Plain areas of our state than in the mountains of northwest Arkansas.  Arkansas didn't want to secede but Abraham Lincoln, the President of the US, ordered each state to send troops to fight for the Union after the shots were fired at Fort Sumter.  Arkansas voted to secede in May.  

The battle colors of Arkansas are at the State House until February.  Very Cool!!!  These are the flags that certain companies of soldiers carried into battle during the Civil War. Notice that the flags are hung at an angle.  It was explained to us that gravity is a danger to this flags.  

Another exhibit that I enjoyed was the Arkansas's First Ladies' Gowns.
If you go to The State House, ask for a tour. Then after the tour, you can wander around on your own and see things at your own pace.  

We dropped of Carl at home and Andrew and I hit the road.  First stop, Feltner's Watta-Burger.  Can we all just have a collective 'yum!'  Thank you.  We got burgers and shakes and fries and onion rings.  My mouth is watering.  Drive to Russellville and eat there soon!

Next destination was Fort Smith.  The National Park was our first stop.  Lots of info about the west and Hanging Judge Parker.  Here is a replicate of his court room.  There is a neat interactive display that provides lots of background and gives you the feeling of how thing were.

Here is Andrew in one of the jail cells

Here is my artistic shot for Kaitlin.  The skies were very angry looking but we didn't get caught in any rain.
 Here are the gallows used by Judge Parker.
right down the street from the National Park.  A fun museum.
The chair that Judge Parker sat in is behind the big desk.

I do not like loud noises.  Or rather I should say I do not like loud noises. Sorry if you felt like I was yelling at you, I wasn't.  Just needed to get my point across.  So we are making our way to the Museum of History and I see several gun slingers and then some law men and I saw guns and I did what every red-blooded chicken would do.  I ran.  Or rather, I ran.  After Andrew caught me and quit laughing so hard and quit saying 'Mother, you should be on an Olympic track team with moves like that', he ushered me into the museum so we could watch the gun fight from inside, much better.  The gun fight was in honor of Judge Parker's birthday celebration.  I personally can think of about a zillion ways to celebrate a birthday and having a gun fight would not be one of them but that is just me.
for Kaitlin- she did a class on Mayan art, before her class I never saw Mayan things anywhere and now they are everywhere!
 The is a National Cemetery in Fort Smith.  These are always a moving place to be.  All those headstones lined up like soldiers in perfect order.  So peaceful.
This battlefield is in a neighborhood and I soon learned that if Andrew ever said, "Mama, do you mind if I see if I can find another battle field?"  I never knew if that trip would entail a drive through a neighborhood, a dirt road or even another state- we went into Missouri twice!  For the most part I was fine with the side trips but the 3 hours down those dirt roads near Piggott, well, maybe it was 30 minutes but the back of my minivan looks like I've been out mudding with the best of them!!!   This was a beautiful park.  A very cool feature that most of these parks had is an audio program that you dial up on your phone.  Each park has a certain two digit exchange that they have listed.  We could jump out see the sites and then listen to what had happened at the site we were at.

We stayed the night in Fort Smith.  The next morning we almost didn't eat at a restaurant because it didn't meet my 7 car rule but I decided to try it and I am glad I did!!!  More tomorrow!

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