Wednesday, May 5, 2010

In the footsteps of ...

Gen. William T. Sherman

Not too long ago, I've told you fine people about my personal travels into the past via genealogy.  Do you remember?  Well, yesterday we actually went out and took in a deep breath of air on a mountain with quite the story to tell.  We walked on paths that have been trampled on a long time ago with quite the purpose.  We walked through the woods that still hold some quiet whispers of those that once were here before us. And now we have come here to listen.   (as always, click on the pictures for larger view)
As you may or may not recall, I have been busy with Lewis' family history.  The other day I watched a show that does exactly that.  Matthew Broderick (to some he will be for all times "Ferris Bueller") was researching his heritage and it was quite the interesting discovery.  Turns out that one of his great great grandfathers fought at Gettysburg and other battles (on the Union side).  He was then sent to Savannah, coming through Atlanta.  He made it to Kennesaw Mountain, to the Battle of Peachtree Creek.  Here he was a skirmisher and unfortunately was killed by a musket-ball to the head on the 23rd day of July in 1864.  The name of this fine soldier was Robert Martindale, buried in a make shift grave in North Marietta.  During Sherman's Atlanta Campaign, those soldiers buried in that make shift burial where carefully exhumed and moved to the Marietta National Military Cemetery with carefully reported information of those soldiers found. The cemetery holds over 10000 soldiers with only a few unmarked or marked as unknown.  Such was the case for Robert Martindale of the 20th Connecticut volunteer Infantry, who, with Matthew Broderick's help has now given the stone number 2469 a name.  This is where I thought to take you all.  Walking in some of the footsteps of those who fought for what they believed in.  (by the way, did you pick up on the name of his great great grandfather?  In the movie "Glory", Matthew Broderick plays an officer named Robert Shaw).
  (note: the picture of Matthew Broderick is taken from

First, we make our way to the cemetery and the view is taking my breath away.  So many soldiers lay below the ground, dying in a battle they wished to win.  They surely did not die in vain and now, even an unmarked little stone with the number 2469 is finally receiving personal recognition.  Although this war was an American war, I felt thankful as I stared down onto that white square that didn't carry a name or any information other than the cataloging number 2469.  As Matthew Broderick before me, I got a little chocked up; it was hard not to.  As I stood there, I quietly thanked him for his bravery and his ultimate sacrifice. Now we step back into the car and march the paths where once a bloody battle took place. 

(Again, the picture with Matthew Broderick was taken from

So here we are, at the visitor's center at Kennesaw Mountain.  We pick up some info sheets here and there and sit down for a 18 minute long documentary, giving us a quick run through what had happened during the battle.  Then we take off.  Up to the top which leads us to some of the canons that would shoot at the Yankees as they would come up that mountain.  As you look around, you still get a feel on how it must have looked up here, what the air must have smelled like, the yelling of orders to those that needed to be quick with their actions.  Lewis, being a soldier himself (Armor Officer) gave me a better understanding of what took place behind those big canons and I could make up my own images what would take place in front of those little canons (not at all what i am used to seeing with Lewis' tanks).  We drive around to three more battle points and with each stop we learn more and more of the battle that was ultimately lost by the Confederates.
  Driving through Atlanta, you still see so many confederate flags in front of houses, or stickers on cars, even worn as t-shirt prints and tattoos.  Often I wonder about the people who display the confederate flag in whatever shape and/or form know what the said display means and if they even have a clue about what they supposedly stand for. Ignorance is bliss??  It makes me sad to know that so many people here still fight using race, yet, they don't want the racial issue to go away as it has become a convenient tool to achieve whatever it is they perhaps wrongfully want to achieve.  It makes me feel sad when people cry out for justice and yet, they are in the wrong.  It makes me sad that people believe that they don't have to be responsible for themselves.  It makes me sad to know that people take their life for granted. That they all seem to have forgotten.   I feel that more people should be reminded of the blood that was shed for all those living in freedom today.  I, for one, will always be grateful and I am not even an American.  And with this, I will now follow the story of Lewis'  family and their military background... who knows what we will discover...


  1. Liane - this was wonderful - a tour guided by a sweet and intelligent tour guide like you - it really helped to bring this home to me. I have been to my share of Civil War battlefields - Gettysburg, Antietam (Sharpsburg), Vicksburg, Bull Run (Manassas) and more - and I never tire of it. You make me feel as if I have now visited Kenesaw Mountain.

    I knew of the movie "Glory" with Matthew Broderick and Morgan Freeman, but I did not know of its inspiration - that is quite the story, and thank you for enlightening me. Such wonderful pictures - and the added bonus of having Lewis' expertise as well. Thank you for sharing this - it's great stuff.

    Are you trying to suck up to the history buff? It's working...

  2. Good morning, Tom... as always, thank you for your comment... I should have been more clear with the "Robert"-reference... The interesting part here is rather that Matthew Broderick did not know any of this about his grand grand grand father (not even the name)... after learning the name and then learning of his involvement in the battlefields did he recall the similarities which are only really the civil war and the name Robert... But nevertheless, as silly as it may sound, it still got to me in some way... I have so many more pictures of the actually trenches and open fields... and just for you, i took a picture of a Wisconsin memorial.. i will send that one to you via e-mail ;-) And as far as me sucking up to the history buff.. well.. you know ;-)

  3. Never get tired of history, or of the Civil War, or especially you... thank you again for this report, and I will await the picture - thank you for that... our Wisconsin boys were very prominent throughout the Civil War... This Wisconsin boy thinks the world of you, just sayin'...

  4. I have missed you.... and reading this and knowing quite a lot about this also. Your views are so on. I do not think I could walk in these holled grounds and now become choked up. Life and dead and dreams... I wish you would send me some pictures.... *sticks tongue out* *sighs*

  5. Great post.
    You triggered a lot of thoughts and questions i have asked in the past.
    Some have answers, the rest, don't have answers because this isn't any.

    Walking through any battlefield is eerie.
    Especially around dusk.
    You could hear and feel the souls of those who never left, riding the wind all around you.

    Why these people had to perish is question with two answers.
    A victors answer and a vanquished's answer.
    Does it matter, the souls of the dead still remain.

    Even though this mentality still exists in the south it's not as powerful as it once was but what has changed is more blacks have become racist themselves.

    Is that a byproduct of freedom you have to ask yourself some times.
    Have the slaves become masters themselves and act as such.

    If everyone was blind, deaf, and mute, I wonder what we would be prejudice about?

    Smell, yeah probably smell

    Great post again


What say you?