Posts Tagged With: Cannon


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Into all lives some rain must fall. Or, more accurately, we hadda problem. Spent all morning, and then lunchtime, and then… Suffice it to say we spent most of the day hanging out at Five Star International in Allentown because an engine warning  light blinked on signaling an engine problem. It was a problem we were glad to have taken care of and fixed by a very competent mechanic, and nice people at Five Star. Not terribly serious, but good maintenance pays off. You can see they do buses and trucks and that is what we are in a sense, a truck.

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We had enough time to visit the Liberty Bell Museum of Allentown, housed in Zions United Church of Christ. I visited the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia sometime in the 1970’s and had no idea this church hid the Liberty Bell, and a slew of other bells, from British Occupation. A conquering army is want to melt down bells and turn them into cannon; victor and spoils.

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The original church was built in 1702 and replaced with the second church, Zion’s Reformed Church, which hid the bells from 1777 to 1778. That church was again replaced by the current stone church DSC06682 (Copy)

And, of course, the wonderful story is displayed here. In 1961, a man named Morgan thought the hiding of the Liberty Bell should be recognized and suggested the Church as a shrine. He knew, that 51 replica Liberty Bells were made, one for each state, and one for President Truman’s Library. Why not place an exact replica in the basement of the church and honor their history? Exact replica meaning, 2080 pounds, clapper 44 pounds, yoke from which it hangs, 200 pounds, but without the crack.

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When all was done and arranged, they actually had to tear into the church to get it into the building, removing slate and rock, then patching it up.

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It came on a train car and thousands of people stood in the rain to see it come. One hundred thousand people visited the new museum the first year it was open.

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Last year, a fiberglass replica, re-enacted the bell coming to town honoring 50 years on display. But the real story of the bell I had never heard.

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There you have it. And, again, the bell was invoked with liberty by Martin Luther King in  a famous speech a year after the bell was dedicated in Zion Church.

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You can click on this photo to make it larger.

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The docent encourages visitors to ring the bell. I used a rubber mallet, Jim pulled the 44 pound clapper with a special tool.

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The bell is a powerful image of our nation’s freedom. Henry Ford stood beside the real Liberty Bell before it was enclosed in a glass case. People from all over the world  liked to have their picture taken with it and touch it.

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The story of how the bells got to the church, in wagons, 180 of them, with the bells hidden under manure and straw,  is shown in a mural in the huge basement.

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The liberty bell was the heaviest, and the wagon broke a wheel and it had to be transferred to another wagon before they reached the church. All of this was done in secret lest the enemy learn the bells hiding place. Not even the local citizens knew the bells were hidden. I’m now curious about all of those replica’s. Where are they?

The museum makes a nice visit when you are in Allentown. It’s free.  It holds a lot of documents or replicas of famous documents, and one real artifact, a piece of the wagon that carried the bell was kept and donated to the museum.



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As we move up the Tennessee River, through the river towns, signs explain we are traveling the Tennessee River Trail and much of that trail has to do with the Civil War. We spent an hour at the Savannah Museum and it was very comprehensive and well done. Well worth a visit for anyone passing through. It is divided into prehistoric history and early Native American history. Both of which I skimmed through except to say that flat Tennessee was an alluvial plain and shells and fossils are only 15 to 30 feet deep in their soil. Also from Tennessee 450 Chickasaw families were rounded up and made to follow the infamous Trail of Tears to Oklahoma Territory along with 16,000 Cherokees.

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Along  the river, and nearby Savannah are some old Indian Mounds if you like archaeology. They are just mounds of earth but once resembled the photo above; ceremonial altars, honorable places for a chief to live.

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All river towns have a steamboat history which was pretty exciting. Savannah has a steamboat logo for the town stamped in the sidewalks and on every sign and letterhead.

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Joshua C. Stoddard invented the Calliope and every steamboat on the river had to have one. Made of from 8 to 56 graduated steam whistles the music could be heard for miles in every direction. Children squealed and screamed, dogs barked and grownups smiled and held their breath with excitement as all made a mad dash to the river to meet passengers, pick up their mail or goods.

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The graceful old paddle-wheelers like this one were made on the Ohio river. It is obvious from this museum that rivers were the major roads of the day, with danger, excitement, and goods  traded up and down the river.

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Steamboats came before train bridges. They carried trains across the river to the tracks on the opposite side. The displays explain the dangers and disasters that happened to them, hitting snags, or boiler fires, accidental rammings, and running aground on sandbars.DSC05166 (Copy)

A steamboat needed a compass, whistle and a list indicator. I don’t know why that amused me, it is so simple.

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And those speaking pipes we saw on the old movies with submarines?  They were first used on steamships. You can whisper down this tube and your partner can hear it on the upper or lower deck.

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Then there was war. The Iron Clads had six cannon per side and could guard the banks, deliver men and supplies to the battle. Many forts were built along rivers and the ships  played a vital role in the Civil War. Before the Iron Clads were built, regular steamers were outfitted with rail road iron three-quarters inch thick above the water line and special protection for her boilers.They were called Tinclads..

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On land, within 300 yards, cannon were very effective. They could shoot two rounds per minute and a station of six cannon could pour about 9,700 balls at the enemy in two minutes. The balls could mow down small trees and expose soldiers cover. The history of this area cannot be told without the horrors of the Civil War.

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A gruesome task made real.

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Bedford was a hero. (Click to enlarge)

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The City of Savannah has this to say about heroes posted on their war memorial near City Hall.

We visited City Hall, and drove by the River Park. More about that tomorrow.

After asking three people about where to enjoy good food, we got the same answer all three times:  The Hickory Pit for barbeque and Hakes for fish. Hakes wasn’t open on Tuesday and since chicken was served at “The Pit” we enjoyed a great lunch.

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Hickory smoked chicken and green fried tomatoes for me. Fried potato skins  served with REAL bacon,cheesse,  green onions and ranch dressing or sour cream and half a smoked chicken. Delicious. I asked was there a local specialty in the area. The waitress said no, but the menu was definitely a mine of specialties that may not seem special to her.

Deep fried dill pickles, green beans, mushrooms, mozzarella sticks, and corn nuggets. You can get chicky  and pig frys, which are french frys with pulled pork or chicken on top. And neon frys with cheese and meat on top. They offered nine different vegetables with okra, slaw and just about anything else you can think of.  And, the tomatoes and potato skins are nicely flavored, not over dependent on salt, home-made, delicious and all given with excellent service. Stop in and enjoy this very southern restaurant. (The southern accent is a bonus.)

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Vicksburg, Mississippi – Day 4

Note: I’m now expecting to arrive in Memphis around April 14th….about 250 miles north of Vicksburg. Mary has made her flight reservations. She’ll meet me in Memphis on April 16th.


The motorhome is parked at Moose Lodge #1581. I expect to depart here on Friday

Vicksburg has a very interesting history which you can read about by clicking this Wikipedia link…,_Mississippi

Yesterday I drove the Bronco the about seven miles to a one-of-a-kind museum…the USS Cairo is located within the boundaries of the Vicksburg National Military Park. I visited the park in 2007 but just had to revisit the Cairo. Here’s the official website link…

You can read additional information about Cairo by clicking this Wikipedia link…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…


































I bought this book. I’m about three hours into it and it’s really interesting…


Another great museum!

Enjoying historical museums is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows my approximate location in the State of Mississippi. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2013
For more information about my three books, click this link:

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From Mary’s desk:

Port Hudson is a Louisiana State Historic Civil War Battle site. Its located just north of Baton Rouge at the confluence of the Red and the Mississippi Rivers. Confederates knew this was an important strategic position to keep supplies flowing to the Confederate Army, so they prepared and literally dug in. Under command of an able West Point educated Major General, Franklin Gardner, with 6,800 troops, they stood the longest, bloodiest siege of the Civil War against an inexperienced appointed Union Major General,  Nathaniel P. Banks with 30,000 troops. It was a slaughter of Union troops. Two regiments of Africans were allowed their first chance to fight and proved themselves able soldiers for the Union. Banks, when given leave to bury his dead, refused, and used the stench of rotting bodies as a weapon against the Confederates. Hunger, thirst and weather won after 48 days and a confederate surrender was negotiated.

This battlefield retained cannon balls and musket shot in large quantities. Other artifacts testify to the human casualty of the battle, enough to make you wonder why war is still considered a viable answer to solve problems. I tend to side with the Thai’s who sent King against King into battle instead of the King’s subjects.

These wicker “baskets” were filled with stones and bits of steel to provide protection from gun fire.The interpretive center at Port Hudson does an excellent and thorough job. It has the only known picture of troops surrendering during the Civil War.

There are several cannon around the battlements.  Re-enactments are held here yearly as archeologist have traced the area of the battle encampment.  Its an interesting, calm terrain with much beauty that hardly gives belief to its bloody history.

This camp stove was invented by a Confederate Soldier and was used throughout the war and afterward. It is an interesting place to visit. My grandmother from Michigan died in 1952 with a Civil War uniform in her attic. No family member remembered, or knew who it belonged to. A computer in the museum allows you to type in your relative’s name and it will print out all men with the same last name who served on both sides in the Port Hudson siege. The 6th Infantry Regiment from Michigan served at Port Hudson and I found six men with the same last name and their fate. Three mustered out, one died in 1865, one man’s identity was unsure, one was unaccounted for but not listed as a deserter. I found this research tool very interesting and intrigues me to search family history more intently and find out who wore that uniform.

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Metta Schafft of Sonora owns a Civil War Diary from her ancestor, Peter Lane in which he notes that marching across the beautiful hills and through timber and crossing streams, he met farmers, their herds of cows and hogs, blacksmiths and carpenters. Families stirring in their dwellings waving at them marching by, only to remark:
“…this scene of happiness was destined to be ruined by war. Gen. Sherman the robber and incendiary said War Is Hell, he, at least, carried it on that principle-burning, killing and destroying.”

Now the killing is more efficient.
I salute our nations veterans while I hate war.
Some people consider themselves patriots and those of us against war as unpatriotic.
Let us consider the wise words of some respected historical figures:

“As never before, the essence of war is fire, famine and pestilence. They contribute to its outbreak; they are among its weapons; they become its consequences.”
“When people speak to you about a preventive war, you tell them to go and fight it. After my experience, I have come to hate war. War settles nothing.” Dwight D. Eisenhower

“It is a shallow victory which leaves a prostrate people.” Charles A. Lindbergh

“The human tragedy reaches its climax in the fact that after all the exertions and sacrifices of hundreds of millions of people and of the victories of the Righteous Cause, we have still not found Peace or Security…” Winston Churchill

“War is the business of barbarians.” Napoleon

“There never was a good war or a bad peace.” Franklin

“You are never going to get peace with millions of armed men. The chariot of peace cannot advance over a road littered with cannon.” Lloyd George

“No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.” Madison

“War is an instrument entirely inefficient toward redressing wrong; and multiplies, instead of indemnifying losses.” Jefferson

“Let us pity and forgive those who urge increased armaments, for “they know not what they do.”” Andrew Carnegie

“To be prepared for war is one of the most ineffectual ways of preserving peace.” Washington

“When wars do come, they fall upon the many, the producing class, who are the sufferers. U.S.Grant

I salute our nations veterans but war should be relegated to the trash heap as a way of solving problems. Civilization is at stake

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