"Stonewall" Jackson & General Robert E. Lee
Trip Start Mar 04, 2005
253Trip End Dec 31, 2014
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We would start with a guided tour of "Stonewall" Jackson's home. This was the only home he would ever own. He lived here for the ten years prior to the Civil War during which time he was an instructor at the nearby Virginia Military Institute. From his house we would head over to VMI for a visit to the campus museum, which we found kind of disappointing. The campus itself is beautiful however.
Also located on the campus parade grounds is the George C. Marshall Museum. This museum did not disappoint. George Marshall was a 1901 graduate of VMI. He would go on to serve in France during WWI eventually ending up on the staff of General John Pershing. He was appointed U.S. Army Chief of Staff in 1939 and would continue to serve in this capacity until November 1945. After WWII he was sent to China before being appointed as Secretary of State in 1947 by President Truman. The museum does a fabulous job documenting the life of this fascinating man.
After a quick stop in town for lunch it was off to the Washington and Lee University. Founded as Augusta Academy in 1749, the University is the nation's ninth oldest institution of higher learning. In 1798 in became Washington Academy, to honor its benefactor, George Washington, who saved the school from financial ruin with a gift of stock. Robert E. Lee would become the Universities 11th president in 1865, a position he would hold until his death in 1870. In 1871 the University would once again be re-named to honor not only George Washington but also Robert E. Lee. The chapel on campus is the final resting place of Robert E. Lee, along with his wife and family. His favorite horse, Traveller, is also buried here on the grounds. The bottom floor of the chapel also contains a very nice museum covering the history of the University along with Robert E. Lee.
Our last stop of the day would be at the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery. He is buried here along with 144 Confederate veterans and, two Virginia governors. So much history in such a small space is pretty amazing! We would make our return trip home via a drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway, which offers up some stunning views. It was, another great day out on the road!