Archive for June, 2019


Flght 93, Manassas, Clara Barton, Antietam, and Fort Necessity NP Units

June 11, 2019

6/5 W – left Springfield before 6am, stopped at the Flight 93 N Mem in PA for an hour. Chad and I had been here in October 2011 but I wanted to introduce Helen to the site, take a few more pics, and hear the new Tower of Voices. There are to be 40 wind chimes representing the 40 men and women who tried to re-take the plane from the terrorists at the entrance to the Memorial.

Unfortunately, the electronic wind chimes, one for each victim, were not working. They had only installed 8 thus far and were still testing them.

We then went to the Visitor Center

Then to the Overlook of the crash site and finally to the crash site itself before we left

We spent the night with Fred and Liz in Egg Harbor NJ, their granddaughters made the sign for us


6/6 Th – I dropped Helen off at Carol and Dave’s house in Mays Landing and then drove to Glen Burnie MD to visit my brother Joe. I arrived about noon. He is no longer able to drive (glioblastoma), so I took him shopping for food, clothes, an ice cream, and we ran errands. He bought pants and underwear and stated that this was the first time in 3 years he was able to shop for himself.


6/7 F – “Field Trip Day,” we spoke to Frankie on the phone as we were driving to Manassas National Battlefield Park in VA. He was on his way to the airport to fly to Taiwan for his brother Anthony’s graduation from university.  The Union suffered two defeats here (Bull Run) during the first two years of the Civil War (1861 and 1962)

The location of the first Battle of Bull Run centered around the Henry Hill Visitor Center area

I finally found a Civil War site where they had a sword like mine on display! Note the top sword – it is a non-commissioned officer’s sword. An identical sword was given to me by my father’s friend when I was 13 years old. My sword was made in Trenton NJ in 1863.

The hero of both battles, Confederate Gen. Thomas J. Jackson, earned his nick name here – see engraving below his statue.

Henry House and the “Bull Run” monument constructed by Union soldiers in 1865 to honor those who died in the first battle

We then toured the Brawner Farm area, where the second battle of Bull Run (1862) took place

Then drove to and hiked to the Deep Cut battlefield area and the Groveton Monument to the Union soldiers who died in the second battle of Bull Run

We stopped at the Stone Bridge before departing for Glen Echo Park and the Clara Barton NHS in MD just west of DC


Bought some subs for lunch and ate them in Glen Echo Park MD, which is administered by the George Washington Memorial Parkway

Glen Echo Amusement Park was state of the art when it opened in 1891, with various attractions added through the years; roller coasters, bumper cars, Hall of Mirrors, Spanish Ballroom, the Dentzel Carousel (1921), Crystal Pool (1931), and Arcade (1939)

From the beginning there was a strictly enforced segregation policy. In 1960 a group of students from Howard University came to Glen Echo with a message of equal access. Protestors were arrested but in 1961, with the help of Robert Kennedy, the park was open to any patron regardless of their skin color. It is now run by the Glen Echo Park Partnership for Arts and Culture.


Clara Barton National Historic Site is across the parking lot

This was her home, later becoming the administrative offices of the American Red Cross, which she established in 1881. Born in 1821 she aided wounded soldiers at Manassas, Antietam, Fredericksburg, The Wilderness, and Spotsylvania. She worked with the International Red Cross during 1870-71 and from that experience decided to work toward an American Red Cross (ARC). At that time, the International Red Cross (IRC) only provided assistance during wars. When Barton started the ARC, she expanded the concept to include natural disasters. Later, the IRC also started serving during natural disasters.

The house had been closed for renovation and is now open for tours. However, we were told it will take some time before items can be placed back in rooms. For now, they offer photos in each room as to how they will look when complete.

Departing after an excellent tour. Note the two Red Crosses in the upper middle windows. They are back-lit so they can be easily seen at night.


6/8 Sat – I stopped at the Old Swedes Church Historic Site in Wilmington DE on my way to NJ. It is part of the First State National Historical Park. It was established as a National Monument by President Obama in 2013 and changed to a NHP in 2014. It is the first National Park Unit in the state of Delaware. The Visitor Center for the church is in the Hendrickson House.

Holy Trinity Church was founded by Swedish colonists in 1698; making it one of the oldest active congregations in the U.S.

Note the 1698 date

The pulpit is made from black walnut, the stained-glass windows are exquisite

Jesus, Joseph, and Mary – Jesus as a carpenter’s apprentice

Interesting gravestones (over 2000 here)


I also stopped at the Weymouth Furnace in NJ. It is part of the Great Egg Harbor Scenic and Recreational River NP Unit. I kayaked part of the river last year.

Good map Great Egg Harbor SSR

Remains of Weymouth Furnace

I drove through the NJ Pinelands National Reserve, which is an Affiliated NP Unit, on my way to Mays Landing.  Fred and I canoed the Mullica River through the Pinelands back in about 1980.

Cleaned-up and joined Helen, Carol, and Dave at their step granddaughter Kayle’s wedding to Kyle. It was also our 51st wedding anniversary! Unfortunately, Helen’s hip problem prevented her from rocking and rolling all night!


6/9 Sun – first stop was the Pry House Field Hospital Museum at Antietam National Battlefield in MD. It was McClellan’s Headquarters during the battle and is a unit of the National Museum of Civil War Medicine.

We were fortunate to be there when volunteers were available to share information on the field hospital

Explanation of the use of leaches

Amputations were common, still, there were more deaths from disease during the war than battle

Tom assisting with an ankle injury in the hospital (Pry House), lots of experience with that –

We stopped by the Antietam National Cemetery

And then toured the Battlefield Visitor Center

Union burial detail

Just west of the Visitor Center, Maryland Monument in center (dome).  As a border state, Maryland contributed men to both Union and Confederate forces at Antietam, and as such, the Maryland Monument is the only one on Antietam battlefield dedicated to the soldiers on both sides of the conflict. The New York Monument is on the right.

Dunker Church

The 11 stop self-guided 8.5-mile auto tour starts at the Dunker Church

The following are a few of the stops we made on the auto tour – first the “Bloody Cornfield”

Sunken Road (Bloody Lane) – Observation Tower at end

View from Observation Tower

Burnside Bridge

Final Attack

Ohio Monuments along ridge

After this attack, Lee’s forces retreated back across the Potomac River into VA. Lincoln was upset with McClellan for not pursuing Lee and destroying his forces.


Stopped at Fort Necessity National Battlefield in PA for some additional photos. In January 1754, the Governor of VA sent a small force of VA soldiers under Col. Joshua Fry to build a fort at the forks of the Ohio (Pittsburgh), confront the French, and tell them to withdraw from the upper Ohio River Valley. Before it was finished, the French drove the Virginians off and built Fort Duquesne. In April, Lt. Col. George Washington was sent by the Governor to build a road to Redstone Creek on the Monongahela River and then support the fort on the Ohio. However, when he reached Great Meadows, he learned the Virginians had been defeated and that the French had built Fort Duquesne. He and his 40 VA frontiersmen heard of a small encampment of French nearby and successfully attacked them killing 10 men including their commander. When Col. Fry was killed at Wills Creek on May 31, Washington was promoted to Col. and placed in charge of the unit. Fearing a major French assault, Washington and his men built a circular palisaded fort in five days. When the remainder of Fry’s forces joined Washington, his command had 293 officers and men as well as 9 swivel guns. One hundred reinforcements arrived a few days later.

The “Battle of Fort Necessity” took place on July 3, 1754. The French attacked with 600 soldiers and 100 Indians. Both sides suffered casualties. After negotiations between the two forces, Washington surrendered and was allowed to withdraw “with honors,” but without his 9 swivel guns. The French burned the fort and returned to Fort Duquesne. This early battle foreshadowed the start of the French and Indian War, known as the Seven Year War in Europe (1756-1763).

In 1755, General Edward Braddock was sent with nearly 2,400 men to widen and extend the road Washington has constructed and take Fort Duquesne. He thought his troops were moving too slowly, so he moved ahead with 1,300 picked men and left the others to catch up as soon as they could. Six hundred French and Indians attacked the column 8 miles from Fort Duquesne. Two-thirds of the British troops were killed or wounded. Braddock was mortally wounded and died during the retreat. Fort Duquesne survived until 1758, when the French destroyed it as the British army approached.

The National Road

Mount Washington Tavern


Arrived home about 9pm