Upon leaving Washington D.C., our first stop in Virginia was Manassas National Battlefield Park. This was the first major battle of the Civil War. Some people came to picnic while watching the battle like it was a sport because they thought the North or Union would win so easily but the Confederacy gave them a real fight and so people ended up running for their lives.
We headed further west to Shenandoah National Park – the most visited national park in the country. We drove for a while along this scenic road and stopped at an overlook. My dad went out and he came back and said that puppies were outside. I went outside and it turns out that someone abandoned six puppies. We gave them food and water; the runt of the pack was struggling to get food. We left the puppies with a family who agreed to wait for the humane society and we left to tour the road.
We stopped at a bunch of overlooks. On the way to our campground, we saw three black bears. There were so many deer at this park that I wouldn’t care if I ever saw a deer again. We left Shenandoah to go to the capitol of Virginia, Richmond.
We normally do a tour of the capitol because we got a book to stamp in Washington to show all the places we have been but Steven Spielberg was filming a movie about Abraham Lincoln so the capitol was closed. So we decided to tour other places in the area. We went to Tredegar Iron work where the confederacy made most of the artillery for the Civil War.
We headed further east to the historic triangle: Jamestown, Williamsburg, and Yorktown. We went to Colonial Williamsburg which is a reenactment village depicting colonial life in the 1700′s around the time of the American Revolution. We saw some new craftsmen that we hadn’t seen at the other reenactment villages we had gone to previously (Henry Ford Greenfield Village, Sturbridge, and Mystic Seaport). The new craftsmen were a paint-maker, milliner, silversmith, and a wheel-maker. They also had the usual craftsmen – shoemaker, blacksmither, and glassblowers.
In Jamestown, we saw historical evidence of the first English commercial settlers. They had come to find gold and other riches but they ended up in a swamp surrounded by insects and Indians that became increasing hostile. Many of the original colonists died. The surviving colonists decided to leave but on the way out more reinforcements were sent on boats and they were told to turn around. Eventually, the colony grew the “golden crop”, tobacco. The Indian relationship was always uneasy and frequently violent.
Finally, we went to Yorktown where the Americans beat Cornwallace. This was a turning point in the American Revolution.
We also hung out on the beach and went to a maritime museum and battleship. We turned south and headed for North Carolina.