Sunday, September 8, 2013

Traveling Back In Time

In the quiet of the morning I could almost imagine that I was back in the 1800's. The time when our nation was at war with itself...the Civil War. The battlefield lay before me; the homestead behind me. It was quiet this day. There was no gunfire, no cannon blast, no screams or shouts; only silence. I find that when I'm in such areas as battlefields and cemeteries that there is a different quiet, I would call it a reverent quiet.
Trees had to be felled when the land was cleared for the park. Tree trunks were split into logs and used for fences.
The place is Reed's Bridge, Jacksonville, Arkansas. Another town that is very nearby and another town that has new places for me to explore. I had errands in Jacksonville so I searched the Internet for interesting places and discovered this Civil War park and homestead. I grabbed some lunch at the drive through and had a picnic at the park. It was delightful sitting in this rocking chair on the back porch of  a log cabin and eating my lunch.

In about 2008 the park was developed and these period home were built. In my mind, I could see a mother churning butter on the front porch of the main house, a young child playing nearby, and a baby sleeping in the loft. I could see a new bride as she swept the floor of her starter cabin.  There certainly wasn't much floor to sweep. This cabin was very tiny! I could smell the greens that were cooking in the kitchen and the fire of the blacksmith's forge. Looking out across the field I could see the farmer laboring. I think they lived a simpler life than we do, but I know it was a hard life.
One thing that really surprised me was that most of the buildings were open. I guess I live too near a big city because I kept wondering how these things weren't being stolen or vandalized.

Near the kitchen, of course, was the garden which had been sown with seeds authentic to the era. I love this little stool where one could rest in the shade after tending the garden. 

Beside the barn sat an old wagon. I looked at those rusty metal rims and thought what a rough ride it must have been sitting on a hard wagon seat bouncing over rocks and ruts. I think we're a little spoiled with our smooth riding vehicles and paved roads.

There was a nice walking trail into the woods behind the house that lead to the battlefield. Even though it was a hot, sunny day the thick trees made the trail cool and shady. Look at all those leaves on the trail. Fall is certainly on it's way!

I reached the back of the property and walked along a fence row to the battleground. It was a beautiful area, fields stretching out to the distance tree line and flowers growing along the fence.

The trail led to the Bayou Meto, a stream that runs along one side. This is what the battle of Reed's Brides was all about.  On August 27, 1863,  Confederate troops sought to hinder the advance of the Union army toward Little Rock. They withdrew behind the natural barrier of the bayou and set fire to the only crossing of the stream, Reed's bridge. Troops took positions on both sides of Bayou Meto and the fighting began. Union guns on the high ground above the bayou and confederate cannons south of the stream.  At the end of the day Confederate troops withdrew toward Little Rock.  The capitol, Little Rock, was captured on September 10, 1863.
It was an enjoyable day, walking the historical battleground and woods and getting a little glimpse of what life was like in the 1800's.

Linking with Helen's Weekend Walk.
Won't you come join us?
I guarantee you'll see some beautiful places.
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  1. Oh wow - Cathy I love how you stepped back in time and your imagination brought it to life again. It looks exactly the place I would visit! I like the detail you've captured - I can imagine relaxing on that lovely old rocking chair on the porch or siting by the roaring fire inside!

  2. Lovely step back in time. I love these kinds of places, too. And, oh! That rusty old wheel ... LOVE IT!

  3. Your photos took me back, Cathy - you're right - we're used to more cushy and more smooth in our daily lives. I love the simplicity, though!

  4. Cathy, this is wonderful! I read your words and felt like I was right there with you. What a great idea to take a walk and capture the details, then share it with us.

  5. What a beautiful look at history. Lovey commentary and great photos. Mickie ;)

  6. Loved the tour, you know I never think of this in your area. Being from VA. I think of this there but never for other parts of the country. So interesting to see. Love all the texture and can't imagine those little homes but then again back then they were big I am sure to them.

  7. I see you are doing the "hometown tourist" thing as well. Isn't it fun to discover such delights close to home? Beautiful images, beautifully capturing the sense of another time.

  8. You have such a gift for telling the story and your photos always support it perfectly. Seeing the places that you go really makes me want to visit Arkansas. I am so happy that you are out exploring again! I am surprised that all those buildings are open as well, but what a wonderful bonus for you.

  9. it's always interesting to me to see how folks lived all those years ago. like you said, imagine they lived a very simple life. a hard life. a good reminder for me to not get so bent out of shape at life's little not having 3G or fancy coffee. :) thank you dear cathy for taking me along on your adventure. sharing it like only you can. you really do have a gift for this. xoxox

  10. What a wonderful walk...I love how you tell your stories with your photos...and is there anything more romantic than the Civil War days?

  11. The photos were great but your journaling was awesome. I felt like I was back in time as I viewed each picture. The wild flowers on the fence or the rim of the wheels not sure which was my favorite. You made your day come alive to others. That is so neat. Glad you had such a great walk through history.

  12. We have several historic villages near us--most of them are collections of houses and other buildings that were moved from other locations to a central location. I, too, was struck by how difficult life had to be. I remember looking at the seat on a piece of farm equipment--it was metal with holes cut in it (probably to let rainwater run through)--thinking how uncomfortable that seat would be by the end of a long day of chores.


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