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a walk in the sun

As part of the ongoing effort to get out of the basement, get more exercise, and continue with the weight loss/general health thing, I drove out to Manassas National Battlefield Park where the First and Second Battles of Bull Run were fought. I looked around the exhibits in the park headquarters, which aren't very numerous but are very well done, sat through a short movie that related the events of the two battles in the currently fashionable "through the eyes of common soldiers" style, and then went out to walk the grounds. I was good for about half a mile before becoming tired; took pictures of various monuments, cannon, and the truly impressive statue of Stonewall Jackson while hiking around, although they don't seem to have turned out all that well.


Memorial erected by Union soldiers in 1865.

Rickett's Battery. The park headquarters is in the background.

The Stonewall Jackson statue. Larger than life, much like the man himself.

The Confederate gun line at the far end of Henry House Hill.

The memorial to Confederate General Barnard Bee, who gave Stonewall Jackson his nickname.

The park headquarters has quite a little store inside, too. I daresay they have more books about the Civil War than most bookstores I've been in of late, including the classic Civil War history by Bruce Catton, various well-known tomes on the battles of Antietam Gettysburg, and a mountain of not-so-well-known books on lesser-known battles like Corinth, Iuka, and the unpleasantness in Kansas. They even had a copy of The Last Full Measure, the epic history of the 1st Minnesota Volunteers. They had a lot of other stuff too; the usual souvenir gewgaws, T-shirts and such, but by and large the inventory was heavily slanted towards books and maps. It took real effort to remind myself that I shouldn't be spending money on that sort of thing right now, no matter how tempting it might be.

Stopped in Chantilly to consume mass quantities of chicken wings, then came home to maek post and get my stuff together before heading off to class for Cost Accounting by way of the bookstore. May go back to Manassas tomorrow for more hiking and marinating in history, since I have a three-day pass. We'll see.