Saturday, June 28, 2014

Mississippi River & Carthage Jail

We started the next day in Illinois and ended it in Illinois, but were in Missouri in the middle. 

This way we were also able to see the Arch in St. Louis, Missouri.  Well, from a distance... as we drove past.  "Look, kids, it's the St. Louis Arch.  Quick, you're going to miss it.  Yep, there it goes." 

And Taylor was able to see the Mississippi River for the first time!!!  It's one of her dreams come true!  Is she spoiled or what?  Having all her dreams come true at such a young age.   

The Mississippi River!  

Taylor was in awe.  She was very excited, but a little surprised that it was so brown.  She chanted M-I-S-S-I-S-S-I-P-P-I-R-I-V-E-R over and over again while we were crossing it. 

More of St. Louis, Missouri.

My only landscape picture of Missouri.

We drove north and crossed the Missouri River. 

Then we crossed the Mississippi River again and into Illinois once more.  

And so, after crisscrossing a couple of states and major rivers, we arrived at Carthage, Illinois.  This is the town where Joseph and Hyrum Smith were killed, in Carthage Jail.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints owns the property now and have it set up as a historical site.  

There is a visitor's center and missionaries give tours of the jail. 

The first room inside the jail is the kitchen/dining room/parlor/bedroom.  It had multiple uses. 

The downstairs jail room, is around the corner.  It was for short-term prisoners.  Joseph and his cellmates stay here the first night or so.  

 Then moving upstairs. 

This is the "dungeon room."  Joseph, his brother, Hyrum and their friends were moved to this room because the jailer worried for their safety downstairs.  

Eventually, the jailer gave up his own room for Joseph, Hyrum, John Taylor & Willard Richards. 

It was very special to be able to visit Carthage Jail, to see it in person and stand in the same room Joseph & Hyrum Smith were in.

When the mob that killed Joseph and his brother, came to Carthage Jail some of them fired bullets through this window. 

Another part of the mob rushed inside and up the stairs.  Hyrum went to the door to block it.  A bullet went through the door.  It hit and killed him. 

Bullets were flying all around the room.  Joseph Smith & John Taylor were hit.  

Joseph fell out this window, to the ground below.  John Taylor fell to the floor.

The mob left as soon as they saw that Joseph was dead. 

Willard Richards and John Taylor did survive the encounter.  

John Taylor later became the 3rd President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  His wife, Leonora Cannon Taylor was the aunt of George Q. Cannon.  

George Q. Cannon married Brigham Young's daughter, Caroline Partridge Young.  He adopted her children from a previous marriage.  

One of these children was Vera Young Cannon.  She married Heber Chase Sharp.  They are James' great-grandparents.  

 So we have a connection to George Q. Cannon and John Taylor through James' side of the family.  John Taylor is where our Taylor got her name.  

After seeing Carthage Jail we drove to Nauvoo, Illinois.  It's only about 30 minutes away.  In Nauvoo, we went inside John Taylor's home.  

I'll post about Nauvoo tomorrow.  I have to go prepare a Primary lesson now.  I'm substituting in Primary already.  Only our second Sunday in the branch. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Road Trip - Tennessee to Illinois

We loved visiting my parents, and Tennessee.  We can see why they love it there so much.  

My dad showed us his garden and his fiddle.  He's learning to play it. 

He also braided Taylor's hair.  He does a better job than I can do.  That's why Taylor's hair is usually in her face or in a ponytail. 

We found a school's playground one day, and let the kids run around for awhile. 

They were usually worn out every night.  

We did a little sight-seeing in Manchester.  We found a Russell Stover's store.  We also got to go to a Cracker Barrel.  Just thinking about it, makes me want to have some dumplings. 

I found another dream home.  

We attended church with my parents and met some of their new friends.  Everyone is so nice. 

I couldn't believe it was time to get in the car, 

and hit the road again.  

We left Sunday afternoon and drove through Franklin, Tennessee on our way to Illinois. 

Franklin is another famous Civil War town.   This is the town square.  

This is the Lotz House.  During the Battle of Franklin, the Lotz family left their house and sought refuge down the street with the Carter family.  I understand there are still bullet holes in the house from the fighting.

There are several historic looking homes in Franklin too.

Whenever I saw one I liked, I rolled down the window and snapped a picture as we drove by.  

Sometimes it made for crooked and/or blurry pictures though.  

We didn't spend too much time in Franklin.  We decided to move along.  Our goal was to get a hotel in Mt. Vernon, Illinois that night.

 First up though, was Kentucky. 

 Then we crossed the Ohio River, which brought us back into...


This time we went through during the day, and spent a lot more than a couple of minutes in it. 

We arrived at Mt. Vernon, Illinois, right at sunset.  We got settled in our hotel and rested, after another busy day. 

The next day we wanted to be on our way again.  Carthage Jail and Nauvoo, Illinois were on the agenda, as well as crossing the Mississippi River! 

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Manchester, Tennessee - Chickamauga National Military Park

For our next adventure, we wanted to see some Civil War sites.  We found an area near Chattanooga, Tennessee that had 3 such places, Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and Chickamauga.


It was about an hour & a half drive through lush green, forested, rolling hills.  Tennessee is beautiful!  

We passed right over the Tennessee River.

A view of the Tennessee River, with the city of Chattanooga in the background. 

We decided to go to the Chickamauga Park first, since it was the furthest away.  It was actually in Georgia.  So we were able to get into another state.  It turns out that Chattanooga is right on the Tennessee/Georgia border.  

We knew nothing about the Civil War battles that took place here, so we went into the visitor's center first.  

It turns out that the Battle of Chickamauga, which waged for 3 days, was the second bloodiest of the entire Civil War, behind the Battle of Gettysburg. 

The Union's Army of the Cumberland was under the command of Major General William Rosecrans.  The Confederate Army of Tennessee was lead by General Braxton Bragg.  They would have stayed in tents such as this. 

The visitor's center housed a very large gun collection. 

 I think this was one of Logan's favorite parts of the visitor center.

He couldn't wait to get back home and tell Papa all about it.

 The Cochrane Revolving Rifle from about 1845.

A Model 1855 Colt Revolving Rifle from 1856-1864.  This is just a small sampling of the guns we saw there.  It was a very extensive collection.  

 Logan showing off a Union soldier hat.

And Taylor in a Confederate soldier hat.

 Outside the visitor center.

There was a driving tour that takes about an hour.  So we decided to do that.  We stopped at our first place, this cannon in a field.  We walked around a bit and then got back in the car to drive on.

At first we were stopping frequently and walking around to see everything we could.

Taking pictures of all the monuments.  There were A LOT of monuments.  That's pretty much what the park is all about.

After awhile, we stayed in the car more and walked less.  It was pretty warm and muggy, of course.  And this was taking a lot longer than an hour.

The monuments were to specific units that fought there, but we weren't getting a sense of the big picture. 

We were stumped as to who actually "won" the battle.  

I suppose no side really won, with as many casualties as they all sustained.  I later read that 16,170 Union soldiers were killed, wounded, captured or missing and 18,454 Confederates were killed, wounded, captured or missing.  

In the end, the Union soldiers were not able to advance past Chickamauga and had to retreat back to Chattanooga, but they were able to take back that city, while the Confererate forces occupied the surrounding hills. 

Most of the Civil War battles took place in open fields.  Chickamauga is a wooded area, which made fighting more difficult. 

There were cannons all over the place, everywhere we stopped, there were more.  I think they represent where the cannons and battle lines were during the battle.  


 Logan is showing us how you would load one.  

This is Wilder Brigade Monument.  It was built as a memorial to John Wilder's brigade.  Union Brigadier General Wilder and his men were instrumental in holding off the Confederate army during the battle.  He also led the brigade through much of the Atlanta campaign and many years later became the commissioner of the Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park.

The tower monument was completed in 1904.  It's 85 feet tall with a spiral staircase that takes you to the very top, where you can see the view of the area where the Confederate army broke through and were held back by Wilder's Brigade.  

Climbing the stairs, all 136 of them. 

A peek out the narrow window.  

 Almost there.

Yay!  We made it.

 That's the parking lot, waaaay down there. 

 Beautiful views from the tower.

 Heading back down the spiral staircase. 

I wish I could say that we know a lot more about the Civil War, but I can say that our interest has been peeked and we'll be studying it more at home this year.  

It was amazing to see this historic place.  Now it won't be just a name we read about, it will be a real place.  

We spent so much time at Chickamauga that we didn't have time to go to the other two Civil War sites in the area.  That was disappointing, but we were too worn out, once again, to care that much.  We just wanted to get back home and rest. 

We did take a few minutes to drive into Alabama because it was so close it would be a shame to miss entering another state.  I believe that makes 12 states we've been in, so far, during our vacation.