I was never very interested in history as a child. It seemed that history only consisted of memorizing names, dates, and places. I never was very good at memorizing and struggled through every history class I took. My interest in history peaked later in life. As I've grown older, I've taken the time to read about and visit historical places and I don't have to memorize a thing! One such place is a short drive from home near Jacksonville, Arkansas. Right outside of town is the Civil War Battlefield of Reed's Bridge. Reed's Bridge crossed the Bayou Meto which is a tributary of the Arkansas River. It is a low stream with a miry bed, abrupt banks, and a heavy growth of timber on the sides.
On the battlefield site a small homestead has been reconstructed. The main log cabin has one room downstairs and an attic for sleeping. When my sister and I arrived the cabin doors were locked. I had been here several years ago and it was all open, but due to vandalism they are now locked. We were a little disappointed that we couldn't go inside. Much to our delight one of the battlefield preservation society members happened to drop by while we were there. He was so kind and opened the doors for us. The inside of the cabin was only lit by the sunshine coming in the two doors. In the attic, the only light was from our camera flash! Therefore, these pictures are really grainy.
The last time I was here I sat in one of two rocking chairs on the back porch and ate lunch. The chairs are no longer there. I wonder if they were destroyed or stolen.
Behind the main cabin was the cookhouse. The preservation society really did a pretty job of decorating the cabins for autumn.
One of the cabins that had been there several years ago is gone. All that is left is the chimney.
Beside the cookhouse was the garden.
A beautiful garden still producing vegetables. I've never seen such black, rich soil and I've never seen a garden so healthy in late October! Someone spends a lot of time here!
On the other side of the garden is the barn . . .
complete with an old red wagon.
We had a great time exploring the homestead and walking a nearby trail, but as we walked through the battlefield we became more and more quiet. Men were wounded here and lives were lost in the battle to keep the Federal Calvary from crossing the Bayou Meto on their march toward the capital city of Little Rock. At the end of the day the Confederate Army were able to hold the field and the Federal Calvary retreated. There is a feel to this place; a feeling of sadness and loss.