Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Southern Museum of of Civil War and Locomotive History

Western and Atlantic Railroad No. 3: The Gener...Image via WikipediaThis book, as you may recall, is about Bill, a cavalryman from North Carolina, and Fannie, a carpenter's daughter from Virginia. The story focuses on their experiences at the siege of Petersburg in 1864-5. The General has nothing to do with it.

Nevertheless, Day 5 of the un-vacation found me shortly after noon at the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in downtown Kennesaw, GA. I really didn't expect much because, as I said in my last post, this is still the wrong army in the wrong theater of war. Plus, this particular museum is sort of centered around Andrew's Raid, a heroic Yankee exploit.

Boy was I wrong: I learned all kinds of useful things today! Most importantly, though, I finally understand what it was that Fannie's father James did for a living. They have here a display of a carpenter's tool box, with the explanation that passenger cars of the Civil War period were 90% wood in construction, and that shop carpenters, which is what great-great-great-grandfather James was, built furnishings and trim. Mystery solved.

I also found a good reference book (which I later bought for approximately 1/3 the gift shop's asking price on; a hideously expensive pamphlet which was not cheaper online that I now wish I had snagged while I was looking at it; and a potential interview subject for information on Bill's home church.

(Did I mention that my family historically has had a lot of sex without benefit of marriage? I've been wondering what the church would have had to say about all these "premature" and out-of-wedlock babies--four in this novel's cast of characters.)
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