Thursday, August 23, 2007

Ellsworth Goes to Fredericksburg, Part II


My trip continued . . .

The Writer and I walked over to the edge of the Rappahannock River. This is a famous river. The name comes from the Native American Algonquian word meaning, "river of quick, rising water." Captain John Smith explored the Rappahannock after he had sailed up the Potomac (this was after he had founded Jamestown). He saw bears and other wild animals along the banks.

Virginia's largest roost for bald eagles is along the Rappahannock, not far from Fredericksburg. One December The Writer spotted her very first eagle in the wild while she was driving down Route 1. She looked up and saw an eagle flying overhead, heading for the river.

During the Civil War, the Union Army was stationed on one side of the river, in Stafford County. The Confederate Army was on the other side, in Fredericksburg. They fought a terrible battle in December, 1862. When the Chapman kids are sent back to Fredericksburg (in Signals in the Sky, Time Spies #5), they are in the spring of 1863. The two armies are still camped on opposite banks of the river.

You can see the Rappahannock flowing behind me. We had a big thunderstorm the night before with a lot of rain. That's why the river is high and muddy.

I didn't know you could climb trees.

There's a lot you don't know about me, Winchester. To be continued...

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