TN & MS are both rich with civil war history and yesterday we toured Holly Springs, MS, which has 64 pre-civil war homes that are of the Gothic, Greek and Italian architecture styles. We took the driving tour which featured 24 of the homes and 5 churches which were absolutely awesome. There was only one open to the public (which housed Gen. Grant), but it was a 2 hr. walking tour so we didn’t take the time. The town itself was spared total destruction that many of the other towns incurred because of Gen. Grant’s appreciation of its beauty. We decided on lunch and were told the only place to go was Phillips Grocery that made the country’s best hamburger. It’s a ramshackle two-story building set smack against the railroad tracks. It’s actually pretty shabby with only 6 old tables surrounded with old dusty memorabilia with a pretty limited menu, but they did have excellent hamburgers. They are actually pretty famous.
From there we went to Colliersville which is another famous civil war stronghold. A lot of the wounded were dropped there because they had a well known doctor at that time. There was a big battle which destroyed the town and “Sherman’s March to the Sea” started there. It had been rebuilt when Yellow fever devastated it again, along with Holly Springs. The town is built in a square around a big park and most of the buildings were built in the late 1800's and early 1900's and are still in use, plus their train depot and trains and all are on the historic register. Once you get out of the main part of town you get into all the fast foods, Wal-mart, etc. That’s where we also get my wine. It also is a very interesting place to visit.
Our next outing was to Corinth, MS which is at the junction of major railroad lines going South to North and another going East to West so was of major importance during the Civil War. The Battle of Corinth was the bloodiest in MS and opened the way for Grant’s march against Vicksburg. It was part of the major Battle of Shiloh. During the 40' it became home to many mob affiliates and other notorious groups so dubbed “Little Chicago”. Bufford Pusser came in and cleaned it up. There aren’t any actual battle sites left since they have long been grown over and built on, but the Corinth Civil War Interpretive Center had very insightful movies, artifacts, pictures, etc. and was very impressive. We did drive by several pre-civil war homes of top ranking Confederate officials that were still in great condition and being lived in. The town itself is pretty shabby and rambling. It was a hard town to get around. Of course on the outskirts, there are still Home Depot, Wal-mart, etc.We have been to a Wal-mart in every place we have stayed. That must be some kind of distinction. Gas is getting cheaper. Normally we pay around $2.05, but last night we paid $1.99. Also cigarettes are cheap here - $1.90 a pack, but Bob won’t let me near a tobacco shop, which there are a lot of. No wine, but lots of tobacco..
Our next outing was to the Shilo National Military Park which is the site of the bloody two day battle of Shilo during the Civil War. It is a very large park consisting of a very informative visitors center , a bookstore, which has tons of information about the Civil War, including many of the nearby sites of Corinth and Holly Springs. The tour is mostly a driving tour going through the various sites of individual battle sites. Even though TN was a Confederate State, there was a federal army named “the Army of the Tennessee”. It was very instrumental in the outcome of the Battle of Shilo and many memorials are scattered throughout the park commemorating the Army of the Tennessee. Just a side note, Federal Armies were generally named after rivers while most Confederate Armies were named for geographical locations. There is a very interesting web site by the National Park Service about Shilo.
Our final outing from Cherokee Landing was to Memphis. Memphis is another very historical city with Beale Street being one of its more famous spots. Beale Street has many historical buildings and businesses along the four block length of the historical district. Many famous blues musicians played in Memphis, which is known as the Home of the Blues. The sidewalks on Beale Street have many bronze stars set into the cement. We went up and down Beale Street, had lunch in one of the historic saloons. After lunch we took a tour of Memphis on the Memphis Duck. The tour took us through the city showing some of the historical homes and buildings of the city and then we entered the Mississippi River for a tour down the river. A really interesting day. By the time we got back to the rig we were tired out and just crashed.
We packed up and were ready to leave Middleton when we discovered we had no interior power after unplugging the electricity. Both the coach batteries were fried so we had no GPS or more importantly – no water to the toilet – but thankfully I had enough bottled water to flush it. We stopped for lunch and I was going to heat up some beenie-weenies and beefaroni until we discovered the propane stove won't light without interior power so we had to eat it cold, which I don't recommend to anyone. Of course, the generator wouldn't work either. Our main panel is also getting flaky so we are going to have to find an authorized dealer somewhere down the road. The roads were great and there were nothing but trucks and more trucks, plus some Rvs. I wish they would get the railroads operating again and get some of this traffic off the roads. Anyway, it was a beautiful day and the drive through Tennessee and Kentucky was absolutely beautiful with all the trees turning and crossing the Tennessee River was a gorgeous sight. We took a bypass around Nashville. We would have loved to have stopped, but there wasn't enough time and the traffic was bad. The only Kentucky horse farm I have seen so far was just before the Kentucky border. We got in and set up without a problem. The park is fairly nice, has all the amenities and is located at Diamond Caverns. Right down the road is Mammoth Cave so will be going there. We have had different bugs at different campgrounds and here it is ladybugs – lots of them.
The first day was backtracked to Bowling Green (30 mi.) to Camping World to get new batteries. The new batteries apparently fixed our problem. This is the first Camping World Store ever built and is located in a residential area that is a little hard to get into. I'm glad we didn't have to bring the RV. Of course, we had to make our obligatory trip to Wal-Mart.
We took a short drive to Park City which only has a gas station and lumber yard, but is home to the historic Bell Tavern which was a way station for the wagon trains and later the railroad. There were very notable people that stayed there, but it burned down and while it was being rebuilt the Civil War broke out and never completed. It is now in ruins, but this is a dry county now. The only “wet” place between Louisville and Nashville is Bowling Green. I'll never figure this out.