Mr. SP is taking over today to share what he did in Atlanta while I was attending the Haven Conference.
While Sweet Pea was doing whatever one does at Haven, I ventured out on my own to do things that I had hoped would interest me. I was successful.
My first stop was Stone Mountain. I had always wanted to see the massive sculpture of Jefferson Davis, Robert .E. Lee, and Thomas Jackson, and now I had the opportunity. It was timely since this monument is under attack by the Political Correct Police.
The mountain is simply a huge granite boulder – quite impressive in its own right. A three acre bas relief carving of the three Southern figures were started at the turn of the previous century, but only relatively recently completed. I did not stay for the laser light show, but I understand it is quite impressive.
The park also boasts various amusement park type attractions, for an additional fee. I did not partake. It also had DUKW (Duck) rides, but the wait was too long. I regret not waiting to ride the Ducks, as I later found during my drive out that the park is quite beautiful, and the Ducks would certainly have been very pleasant.
My primary interest in Atlanta was the Civil War history that surrounds it. There are Civil War battlefields and attractions all the way from Chattanooga to Atlanta and in the vicinity of Stone Mountain. I started my CW tour at Kennesaw National Battlefield. This was the site of some vicious fighting in the campaign to capture Atlanta. The park is well preserved, but there is not much to see with respect to historical markers or monuments. The park office is nice with some good history and artifacts, but the remainder of the battlefield tour is primarily up to the visitor to trail blaze based upon the map provided at the park office. McMansions have started to encroach on the rural atmosphere of the park, but for now, the sense of remoteness remains.
Artillery piece in front of the Kennesaw Battlefield park museum.
Below are various views of the existing Confederate earthworks at the top of Kennesaw Mountain. Very well preserved, and a short but vertical hike up the hill from the park museum (driving is feasible too, but I had time to kill).
View from the top of Kennesaw Mountain towards downtown Atlanta.
After viewing the battlefield, I went into town, to the railway museum which houses the famous General Locomotive (https://www.southernmuseum.org/). I’ve known the story of the great locomotive chase ever since I was a child and could not pass up the opportunity to see this famous CW artifact. The museum was very nice, and well worth the effort to find and tour the facility.
After the locomotive museum, I wandered across the street to an unique old artifact shop that I noticed. I struck up a long interesting conversation with the proprietor, Mr. “Wildman.” The photo below is taken from his website. https://www.wildmans-civilwar-surplus.com/
I also wanted to see whatever Atlanta battlefields that were still in existence. Unfortunately, Atlanta grew so fast after the war and the years since that very little exists of the original terrain. The lone example of existing battlefield is in Grant Park, the site of the Cyclorama (https://www.atlantacyclorama.org/) and museum (also the Atlanta Zoo). The cyclorama is very interesting, and quite the historical artifact in its own right. The cyclorama “show” museum staff presentation were very good, and entertaining. A surprise of the cyclorama was that it housed the “Texas” locomotive. It is the other half (and winner) of the great locomotive chase. I had no idea that it existed anymore. It is remarkable that both these locomotives survived all this time.
After viewing the cyclorama exhibit, I wandered through Grant Park. It is a very nice park, and the only remaining open space (that I could find) of of the Atlanta battlefields. Within, there was some remaining evidence of the old defensive earthworks of Atlanta.
Finally, when I finished with all the CW that I could find within the immediate area, I decided to head out of town, and go to Bass Pro Shops. They were having some big hunting/outdoors extravaganza and the place was packed. I mention this only as a segue to mention that Atlanta traffic is HORRIBLE. There were six lanes of traffic in each direction, and was jammed to capacity. The traffic actually usually continued to move, but was somewhat stressful to endure. That said, the drivers in Atlanta were fast but courteous. Atlanta citizens, too, were always very nice and pleasant.
Thanks to Mr. SP for sharing what he did while I attended Haven. Perhaps next year we can either arrive early or stay after Haven so that I can also see some of the historical sites.